LONDON- US cyber attacks against Iranian targets have not been successful, Iran's telecoms minister said on Monday, within days of reports that the Pentagon launched a long-planned cyber attack to disable the country's rocket launch systems.
"They try hard, but have not carried out a successful attack," Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, Iran's minister for information and communications technology, said on social network Twitter.
"Media asked if the claimed cyber attacks against Iran are true," he said. "We have been facing cyber-terrorism for a long time...Last year we neutralized 33 million attacks with the (national) firewall."
US President Donald Trump approved a cyberattack offensive to disable Iranian computers that are used to control rockets and launch missiles, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
While Trump shied away from a military attack after authorizing one on Friday, personnel with the US Cyber Command launched a cyberattack on Thursday night that has been in consideration since Iran reportedly attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, according to the report.
While the attacks crippled Iran’s military command, there was no reported loss of life.
The While House and the US Cyber command declined to comment to the Post, but Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said that, “As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning.
“This operation imposes costs on the growing Iranian cyber threat, but also serves to defend the United States Navy and shipping operations in the Strait of Hormuz,” said Thomas Bossert, a former senior White House cyber official in the Trump administration, according to the Post.
According to the report, for the past two years the Iranian cyber forces have tried to hack US naval ships in the Persian Gulf.
“There’s no question that there’s been an increase in Iranian cyber activity,” Christopher Krebs, director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said according to the Post. “Iranian actors and their proxies are not just your garden variety run-of-the-mill data thieves. These are the guys that come in and they burn the house down.”
In 2012, Iran launched the Shamoon virus on Saudi Aramco, destroying nearly 30,000 computers.