Iran is preparing to conduct cyberattacks on the United states and countries in Europe, which has prompted U.S. officials to draw up plans to launch a counterattack, according to a new report.
NBC News cited U.S. officials as saying Iran is putting together plans for denial-of-service attacks against infrastructure such as electric grids, water plants, and companies in the healthcare and technology sectors. There is no evidence to suggest an attack is imminent, but the intelligence has caused a U.S. reaction behind the scenes.
That includes speaking with European and Middle Eastern allies about Iran's attack plans, NBC reported.
U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia all pose serious threats to U.S. cybersecurity. It's already been concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, while North Korea is suspected of being behind several high-profile cyberattacks in recent years.
After President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal in May, Iran has stepped up its rhetoric against the U.S. and its allies.
Iranian mission to the United Nations Alireza Miryousefi told NBC the allegations of Iran preparing a cyber strike are false.
"The U.S. is the most belligerent cyber attacker of any nation in the world, repeatedly attacking military and civilian targets across the world including in Iran," Miryousefi told NBC.
She added that Iran's "cyber activities are defensive in nature and necessary for our country's protection."
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said last week "the warning lights are blinking red," which happened to be the same assessment as before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the U.S.
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