The Islamic Republic of Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979. It wages war through terrorist surrogates and main forces such as the IRGC. Michael Rubin lists a few markers along the warpath in “Imaginary Iran.”
Last month brought another reminder and another example. On March 24, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against seven computer specialists who regularly worked for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, charging that they carried out cyberattacks on dozens of American banks and tried to take over the controls of a small dam in a suburb of New York.
The New York Times explained that the attacks on the banks were intended to shut down their networks, but the case of the Bowman Dam in Rye, New York, “was entirely different[.]” How so? “[I]t appeared to be an effort to take over the dam itself.” We got lucky, however. “The attempt failed because the dam was under repair and offline, but in some ways it worried American investigators more because it was aimed at seizing control of a piece of infrastructure.” Yeah, well, you might want to worry about Iran’s nuclear program too now that we are financing and protecting it. According to the indictment, the dam intrusion caused thousands of dollars in damages to the computer system.
The infiltration of the Bowman Avenue dam represents a “frightening new frontier for cybercrime,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, speaking at the event in Washington. It’s actually a frightening new frontier in the mullahs’ war on the United States.
The Wall Street Journal article on the indictment is here. The Reuters article on the indictment is here. Reuters reports: “U.S. officials largely completed the investigation more than a year ago, according to two sources familiar with the matter, but held off releasing the indictment so as to not jeopardize the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran or a January prisoner swap.”