January 19, 2019

Iran Is Still Doing Very Dangerous Things

“Since 2016, we’ve been told repeatedly that cyber attacks on the United States by foreign antagonists are emergency-level threats to the country. And it’s true—they often are. Why, then, isn’t there more outrage about Iran’s recent attempt at hacking the personal emails of a wide range of American officials?

The AP reports that in the past month a group of hackers nicknamed Charming Kitten targeted more than a dozen officials at the U.S. Treasury. They also went after the email accounts of an advisor on national security to Obama and Trump, a State Department official, some American think-tank employees, and various nuclear and defense officials in Jordan, Pakistan, and Syria. The cybersecurity group Certfa and other experts have convincingly tied Charming Kitten to Iran. No one, however, is sure how many accounts were successfully compromised.

Iran’s attempted cyberattack on American national security is not exactly taking over the news cycle. Yet, a year ago, when the House Intelligence Committee revealed that Russians purchased Facebook ads about Bernie Sanders coloring books and memes depicting Jesus Christ and Satan arm wrestling over the fate of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, it was framed far-and-wide as a sophisticated stealth campaign to undermine our democracy.”

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