Home / Our Analyses / Iran’s cat-and-mouse game with adversaries is not all about nuclear and things military: there is also the cyber domain

Iran’s cat-and-mouse game with adversaries is not all about nuclear and things military: there is also the cyber domain

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – While much of the world’s attention concerning Teheran has, rightly, been focused on how US policy could undermine the EU-brokered deal in 2015 for Iran’s nuclear compliance, one should not overlook a less conspicuous source of tension between Iran and its adversaries: the struggle for supremacy in cyber stealth, infiltration and industrial espionage. It’s a battle of the bytes that is not restricted to Teheran’s targets in Western countries, however. Iran regularly aims for its opponents in the Middle East as well as companies operating in the latter. The attacks are by no means one-way, of course: Western cyber-forces slither around Iran’s cyber networks in the same fashion, all probing one another’s capabilities in a silent cat-and-mouse game. And that points to a crucial issue, namely: the…

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By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Among the measures included in European Commission’s cybersecurity package, adopted on 13 September 2017, is the goal of transforming the European Union Agency for Information Security (ENISA) into a new cybersecurity agency. The Commission is also pushing researchers to study new ways to tackle Europe’s burgeoning cybercrime threats. The need is great, to say the least. According to the EU, ransomware attacks increased by 300 per cent between 2015 and 2017, and may increase four-fold again by 2019. One of the workshops during the 6 December meeting of the Commission’s “Community of Users” (CoU) of security research stakeholders (see related article in this issue) focused on cybercrime, several related research projects and the eye-raising statistics that confront authorities in their efforts to combat it. As Michele Socco of the Commission’s home affairs directorate-generale (DG HOME) told the workshop, “65 percent of digital evidence is...