By Kevin Coleman -- Defense Tech Cyberwarfare Correspondent
In case you haven’t see the news yet, Iran is mouthing off and talking tough – issuing warnings to the United States and Israel. If American or Israeli cyber spies attempt to wage an online campaign against Iran, the country's state and intelligence agencies would combat any operations with their own "very strong" cyber defense capabilities, according to a piece by Iran's state news agency. Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, a member of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy said, “In the cyber war, we (Iran) will definitely be the winner.”
Last year, Iran began recruiting cyber subject matter experts for a new initiative to enhance cyber defenses and build world class offensive cyber capabilities. Multiple Iranian government and military sources have claimed they are making considerable progress. Iran has made their efforts very public ; to send a message to the United States and Israel that Iran won’t be humiliated again with another cyber attack like Stuxnet -- that worm is thought to have infected 30,000 Iranian IP addresses (mostly government).
Is this rhetoric or for real? Theoretically, in this short period of time Iran could have not only improved its defenses by applying missing patches or even isolating sensitive systems from the Internet along with many other defensive measures. It is difficult to believe Iran has conducted the research and intelligence gathering necessary to develop advanced cyber weapons from scratch, but it could have acquired/purchased an offensive cyber weapons from multiple sources.
Is Tehran actually thinking about declaring a cyber war with the United States and Israel? Time will tell, but clearly it has ratcheted up the cyber war of words.