While Iran is unlikely to match the cyber capabilities of Russia, China, or even North Korea in the short term, this third-tier actor has already racked up some notable wins. Between 2011 and 2013, in some of their first forays into cyberwarfare, Iranian hackers cost U.S. financial institutions tens of millions of dollars and knocked Saudi Aramco’s business operations offline for months. Over the past two years, Iranian hackers hit more than 200 companies around the world, inflicting hundreds of millions dollars’ worth of damage, according to a new Microsoft report. We downplay this evolving menace at our peril.
Annie Fixler is deputy director of the Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow her on Twitter @afixler. Follow FDD on Twitter @FDD. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.