The United States Cyber Command on Thursday launched cyberattacks on Iranian military computer systems on Thursday, according to US media reports.
The attacks, which targeted computers controlling rocket and missiles launchers, were launched in response to the downing of a US Global Hawk surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday.
The cyberattack came as President pulled back from conducting airstrikes on Iranian targets in response to the drone shootdown.
Citing two former intelligence officials, Yahoo! News reported that the cyberattacks on Thursday evening targeted an Iranian spy group that supported last week’s limpet mine attacks on commercial ships. The group reportedly has ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The cyberstrikes had been planned for weeks if not months, sources told The Washington Post. According to the report, the Pentagon proposed launching them after Iran’s alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.
The White House declined to comment, as did officials at US Cyber Command. Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said, “As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning.”
Thursday’s strikes represented the first offensive show of force since the US Cyber Command was elevated to a full combatant command in May.
[Additional sources: CNN, The National]