US 'launched cyber-strike on Iran' following Aramco attacks, new report claims

US 'launched cyber-strike on Iran' following Aramco attacks, new report claims
Two anonymous US officials said the strike targeted Iranian physical hardware in a bid to curb 'propaganda'.
2 min read
16 October, 2019
The US cyber-strike aimed to attack Iran's 'propaganda' capabilities [Getty]
The US carried out a clandestine cyber attack on Iran following the 14 September drone and missile strikes on Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil facility, which Washington believes was orchestrated by the Islamic Republic, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Two anonymous US officials told Reuters the operation targeted physical hardware in a bid to curb Tehran's ability to spread "propaganda".

The Pentagon refused to comment on the reports, saying it does "not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence, or planning".

The reports comes days after Saudi Arabia approved the deployment of 3,000 US soldiers in the kingdom to bolster its defences against perceived Iranian attacks, amid months of spiralling tensions in the Gulf.

The Aramco attack, which Riyadh and Washington blame on Iran, caused a spike in global oil prices and cut the kingdom's oil output by half.

Iran has denied being behind the attack, which has been claimed by Yemen’s Tehran-linked Houthi rebels, yet many are sceptical of the group’s capability for such a large-scale attack.

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Iranian government-linked hacking campaigns have been accused of trying to infiltrate and sway international politics, most recently the 2020 US presidential election.

Facebook disabled hundreds of accounts in last year it said were linked to Russian and Iranian effort to meddle in US and British politics. 

The Iran-linked campaign used accounts posing as British and US citizens and posted messages about highly charged topics such as immigration and race relations.

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