July 16, 2020

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FBI Warns of Retaliatory Cyber-Attack from Iran

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning of a heightened likelihood of Iranian cyber-attacks following the escalation of tension between the U.S. and Iran. This follows the warning last week by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The FBI and DHS issued a bulletin to law enforcement groups warning of potential physical and cyber-attacks on the U.S.

The FBI stated that “the FBI is aware of the continued possibility that retaliatory actions could be taken against the United States and its interests abroad” based upon increased scanning and reconnaissance.

According to Chris Krebs, head of DHS’ cybersecurity division, U.S. companies should be looking for Iranian cyber-activity, particularly related to industrial control systems and software that supports the systems. Krebs tweeted “[P]ay close attention to your critical systems, particularly ICS. Make sure you’re also watching third party accesses!”

Other security professionals have noted that companies should be proactively looking for threats to their systems that could have originated from Iran. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iran has “a deep and complex cyber capability.”

Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 16


About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...