Intelligence experts warn about cyber threats following recent conflicts with Iran

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The recent conflicts between the United States and Iran continue to dominate headlines.

House democrats are working to limit his war powers. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the President needs congressional approval to take action against Iran again. The President says he will consult congress on a case by case basis.

President Trump defends his decision to kill Iran’s top commander. He says Iran appears to be standing down, but is still a threat.

Cyberspace is an arena where those threats are likely. Cyber experts warn that attacks could be in the works or coming soon.

Here at home, Augusta University is training the future leaders in cyber security. The school sent out an email reminding students, faculty and staff to pay extra close attention to what they do online because of recent events. The email read:

Following the recent reports of the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, we have been informed by multiple threat intelligence organizations that an Iranian retaliation is likely. The form of retaliation is unknown, but there is concern that disruptive or destructive cyberattacks against U.S. targets are more prossible. These attacks could range from denial of service, network intrusions, malware, ransomware, or others.

In light of these events, we want you to be aware that we are taking a heightened security posture to protect against these threats. There is no reason for us to believe that AU will be targeted in one of these attacks; however, it is imperative for us to take these threats seriously. AU has taken several security measures deemed appropriate to protect our systems. As part of the AU team, we need you to take the following precautionary measures.

Augusta University Information Technology

The topic is something political scientist Dr. Craig Albert says all Americans should be aware of.

“It’s probably already underway, some type of cyber attack from Iran on some place in the United States,” Albert says. “That won’t become public information if it does happen unless it’s really big.”

AU encouraged recipients to follow 3 steps and they are protection methods that apply to everyone.

Augusta University Information Technology
  1. Be hyper vigilant when opening and clicking links within your email.
  2. Confirm the location on all duo notifications (that is typically when your computer sends an authentication request to your phone) and do not accept unanticipated push notifications.
  3. Do not share your usernames and passwords with others.

Recent events highlight the importance, but cyber experts say you should follow this advice even after the current threats have dissipated.

The President says Iran appears to be standing down. “Which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” President Trump adds.

Even before the death of Iran’s top general, cyber intelligence agents across the world and here locally fought cyber threats from Iran regularly and they will continue to do so.

“With intel and cyber command out at Ft. Gordon, these individuals are feeling this already,” says Dr. Albert. “This is going to be a complicated few weeks if not months for military families, especially in the CSRA.”

On Thursday, the city of Las Vegas announced they had a cyber attack on their systems. When asked if they thought Iran might be responsible, a spokesperson for the city emphasized, they do not know who is responsible for the attack at this time and they are working to find out.

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