WASHINGTON — When it comes to cyberweapons, America is an elephant and Iran is a flea. Still, a flea can be a persistent nuisance, especially for the unprotected.
Iran’s cyber capability is the focus of a detailed new study called “Iran’s Cyber Threat,” to be published soon by Collin Anderson and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It describes a country that, although “third tier” on the cyberthreat matrix, can still do considerable damage.
The disclosures about Iran’s cyberattacks are a reminder that America and its allies live in a dangerous electronic ecosystem. Russia’s hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign gets daily coverage, and China’s theft of American secrets has also been well-publicized. What gets too little attention are the less-sophisticated but still-toxic weapons available to dozens of smaller countries. The U.S., with its relatively open systems, can be an easy target.
The Iran study is timely: The Trump