The real Iranian threat: Cyberattacks
A cyberattack believed to be backed by Iran brought down 75% of the PCs at Saudi oil company Aramco.
November 5th, 2012
05:34 AM ET

The real Iranian threat: Cyberattacks

By David Goldman

Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon has been the subject of much debate this election season, but the presidential candidates rarely discuss the most imminent danger Iran poses to the United States: cyberwarfare.

Iran is believed to be behind a slew of massive attacks in September that took down a string of U.S. banks' websites. The country is also thought to have launched a devastating cyber time bomb on Saudi Oil company Aramco in August and to have coordinated a similar attack on Qatar's RasGas, an Exxon Mobil subsidiary.

Post by:
Filed under: Cybersecurity • Iran • Terrorism
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Trevor Zollo

    March 6, 2021 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  2. Rezo

    The definition of "cyber attack" is inadequate. There are attack methods and virus' outside of the government's scope that cause enormous destruction. It is doubtful that certain algorithms will be discovered as they are cronies and have much to learn.

    November 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Rezo

      Iran is complicated, but there are some who can force a nation to implode. Not many, but some.

      November 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  3. Aviv

    I think the real problem with the Petreus affair isnt that he had an affair, it is that hacks from all over the world including enemey states can track and read emails. Why were they communicating through a gmail account. Servailance can locate an individual and determine what gmail they are using in a location. That is the real issue here.

    November 19, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  4. Scott B

    How arrogant can we be? Any threat from Iran is only due to our own acts of war against them.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
  5. update journalist

    i dont think yu be journalist. cause this case is to old(more than a month ago). you not update as well. you and your chief of editor must resign!(you are old and journalists must not be using old case on reports and ... this is alphabet of journalism) but,about cyber & Iran: you are writing as idiot elementary son. All of us know Iran is not involve on this things. Iran have not tech potentional to attack. finally: regret to see you as colleague in old fasion: CNN.(journalist)

    November 8, 2012 at 4:43 am | Reply
  6. Rightster

    I wonder where they got the idea of cyber-attacks?

    November 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  7. Hamma Mirwaisi

    is obama's re-election meaning wars on iran?

    No one can doubt the influence of America Jews when comes to election. They are generous in donation and powerful in media to convince public opinion one way or another.

    Please continue to read the article on the link above

    November 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  8. sfoch

    Seriously? Does anyone really believe this. I mean I realize we don't like Iran but we can't blame them for each and every problem. Literally. This is a propaganda story. It is hard now to tease out what is true and what is designed to further vilify Iran. Seriously Iran cyber attacked US banks and Arab oil company? China has been hacking our computers for years. Many hackers come from all around the world. It is like the drone attacks. Seriously think Iran is going to sell Syria drones secretively, tell the world they aren't doing it, and then put their flag on it with literature from Ayatollah Khomeini? Seriously? The other one that cracked me up was when they tried to paint the Iranian used car salesman in Texas as a point man to get the Cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador. Seriously? Iran the country with crack assassins hire a used car salesman without any military or espionage experience? And to kill an ambassador? What benefit other than serious provocation does that offer especially when it directly conflicts with Iran's strategy of regional solidarity to isolate Israel?

    November 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  9. It's Me

    This simple shut off the Internet routes to Iran. Problem solved. NEXT!!!!

    November 6, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
  10. Kevin

    It amazes me how naive my fellow Democrats are about foreign policy. You all believe they dont post a threat until they come back to bite you in the ass!!!!

    November 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  11. Terrible_Ted

    The countries of the Middle East have been at war with one another, and everyone else since the dawn of man. These countries, are the decendants of Cain. Murder and strife is in the blood lines. Each country of this region wants to fulfill their particular prophesized destiny, and will eventually pull the world into WWIII. Cleanse this region for all time with the nuclear fires, and the world quiets down quite a few decibels.

    November 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  12. JuanAY

    IRAN cannot be trusted with Nuclear Bombs.PERIOD! If they were a civilized nation, maybe. They have proxies all over the world causing havoc and terror. America, and its Allies shall not invade IRAN! Just bomb all thier Nuclear facilities, and at best send Special Forces to the roots and destroy thier ability to create these nuclear bombs! Will there be colateral damage? Maybe a small amount! But only target their facilities!!!!!! No invasion! Just Destroy Facilities!!!! Then give them help for humanitarian purposes!!!!!!

    November 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  13. TLJr

    What next? Stirring up magic potions in pots and hiding htem in giant sand bunkers in the desert. Doesn't all this sound jsut a little bit TOO familiar to anyone, or is the US collective social memory REALLY taht short? Who put the US in charge otf the world? Answer me this – If we move Israel (the part of it that's not already in New Yrok), to somewhere near Omaha, would anyone in the US care if Iran had nuclear weopons? Iran has not miiltarily invaded another nation since the 17th century. If you want to find out what REALLY has the Global Plutocrats worried, find out how Turkey and China have been paying for thier Oil from Iran since Iran has been barred from trading in US petro-dollars as a sanction. It's not money – but 16 nations keep thier enourmous national reserves of this "not money" in the basement of the NY Fed. When your children get sent to Iran becasue they can't find any other job and die there, know this, it has as much to do with Nuclear Weapons as our invasion of Iraq had to do with all those darned WMD's. This has always, will always, can never be anything BUT about Empire and Treasure for Bankers. Thinking that there has ever been redeeming reason for wars to begin is quite simply naive and ludicrous. It's always, and has always, been about treasure.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • willy

      You are too smart to be one of these brainwashed by sionists red neck american.

      November 6, 2012 at 5:07 am | Reply

    I say we give Iran a cyber attack they soon won't forget.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Thank you UNCSAMWNTSU for showing your Tea Party mentality here. Your kind of ignorance will eventually bring this country to it's very knees!!!

      November 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
    • rory

      US and Israel did it already. Iran try to find the way to hit back

      November 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  15. durak

    The Real Threat? Hardly, Iran is largely impotent and the best they can muster is computer attack.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  16. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  17. lash

    I can't understand..we designed and implemented the phone network some time ago. What happened to those blueprints and related information. Would this no be helpful to the U.S. in their attempts to deal with this country ?

    November 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  18. smako

    So we planted a virus in Irans nuclear program that " somehow" affected Russia and China. We can avoid infection by just pulling the plug. No more scams from Asia and no threats from anyone else, but that will also slow down the flow of money. Can't have that.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  19. Joseph McCarthy

    Now I see that the right-wing media is crying Wolf over Iran. Who or what do they take us for anyway? It was we Americans who started this idiotic war in the first place! Then again, they've been crying Wolf over Russia for several decades after WW2 too! Unfortunately, the general public is dumb enough to fall for it!

    November 5, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  20. Dude

    The current POTUS admitted that the US was behind cyber-attacks on Iran. It was not the brightest admission to make.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
  21. Traidenis

    Iran was subject to cyber attacks from two quite obvious sources. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
  22. michaelfury

    "believed to be behind a slew of massive attacks in September"

    And who is "believed to be behind" these attacks?

    November 5, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.