Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cyber Saber Rattling – Real or PSYOP?

The Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Washington Times featured an article “US seen as Iran ‘cyberarmy’ target” (see which is also the photo source.)

While the picture shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the article quotes Rep Dan Lungrem (CA –R) the chairman of the cybersecurity, infrastructure protection and security technologies subcommittee as saying: “if recent reports are accurate that Tehran is investing $1 billion to expand their cyberwarfare capabilities, Iran will be a growing cyber threat to our U.S. homeland.”

This is but one front in the multi-pronged engagement between the West and Iran. Others involve the UN and means include sanctions and growing calls against Iranian nuclear efforts. 

This raises a number of interesting questions. Are the reports of Iran’s ‘cyberarmy’ true? If so, then how true? Would an adversary really need to spend $1 Billion to gather the people and resources necessary to mount a cyber attack? While I have no personal knowledge of what Iran has or doesn’t have it is reasonable to assume that they have some cyber capability – how much remains open to question.

However, then can we say for certain the that the media promotion of their alleged capabilities is a PSYOP success because they really don’t have very much, or a triumph of investigative reporting because the media has uncovered this heinous threat against the US?

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