“We will probably see an uptick in espionage, primarily focused on government systems, as Iranian actors seek to gather intelligence and better understand the dynamic geopolitical environment,” he added. “We also anticipate disruptive and destructive cyberattacks against the private sector.”
That doesn’t mean that the Iranians could turn out the lights in New York City tomorrow.
Robert Lee, a former Air Force cyber operator and the CEO of security firm Dragos, told POLITICO he is “not worried about electric grid outages or safety related attacks at oil refineries and similar locations” in the United States. But Lee, whose company works with utilities, said the Iranians have shown skill at being “as disruptive as possible, deleting systems and trying to deny control to folks and access,” leading to temporary shutdowns of non-safety-related computer systems.
Lee said industry and federal security leaders were urging power companies on Friday to practice heightened vigilance about potential cyber vulnerabilities, including remote-access tools that “could already be compromised.”