Iran has laid groundwork for extensive cyberattacks on US, say officials

After the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before Congress that the U.S. was “anticipating it’s a possibility” that Iran would increase cyberattacks in the coming weeks and months and that the U.S. “will be prepared.” Nielsen said the U.S. has a posture called “shields up” it can institute when anticipating a possible attack.

Should the JCPOA collapse entirely, said Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank in Washington, the infrastructure of Western countries might be an attractive target to the Iranians.

“Iran has a penchant for using such tools against the West,” said Ben Taleblu. “The cyber domain permits the Islamic Republic to engage in graduated escalation, a hallmark of Iranian security policy.”

U.S. officials have alerted America’s allies in Europe and the

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