Experts told House lawmakers this week that they believe Iran is a bigger threat than China or Russia, having passed developmental stages for offensive capabilities and moved onto defensive efforts in cyberspace, GCN reports.
Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, told attendees of a joint House Homeland Security Committee subcommittee meeting that it would be unreasonable to believe Iran would not attempt an attack on U.S. infrastructure.
The hearing involving the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies and Counterterrorism and Intelligence subcommittees was called to assess what threat Iran poses to the U.S. in cyberspace.
According to Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, Iran does not top the cyber adversaries list but makes up for capability with intent.
Cilluffo told the subcommittees that Iran is heavily investing in order to develop a national cyber army.
News sources reported April 19 that Iran was openly soliciting a vendor to provide information on Internet firewalls.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), chairman of the cyber subcommittee, said attacks such as the Stuxnet-like worm that infected Iran’s largest oil company this week may motivate the nation to retaliate with equal means.
Some experts cautioned that the nation could reverse engineer and use the virus against its own enemies, including Roger Caslow, cyber consultant with Suss Consulting, who said Iran should be taken seriously in this respect.
Caslow, who noted Iran could begin to collaborate internationally in cyberspace, called for lawmakers to draw out explicit cyber policies and requirements applicable to government and industry.