US Cyberattack Hurt Iran’s Ability to Target Oil Tankers, Officials Say
In June of this year, US security experts destroyed a database used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to plan attacks against international oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, US officials told The New York Times earlier this week. They claim the cyberattack significantly undermined the IRGC’s efforts to disrupt shipping traffic in the region and that Iran’s paramilitary force still hasn’t fully recovered from the strike.
According to former US intelligence official Norman Roule, the cyber operations carried out by US forces aim to send a message to Iran and other adversaries that “the United States has enormous capabilities which they can never hope to match, and it would be best for all concerned if they simply stopped their offending actions.”
The cyberattack certainly didn’t paralyze the IRGC however, for in July the US accused Iran of carrying out attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Since that month, Iran has also seized at least three foreign vessels in the Persian Gulf. Iran is frustrated with US sanctions on the country that were reimposed after the US government withdrew from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal last year.