US cyber-attack on Iran sends a message to China, North Korea

US Cyber Command carried out an operation targeting Iran's missile systems following downing of a US drone

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US 10th Fleet Cyber Command Center (US Navy photo)

US 10th Fleet Cyber Command Center (US Navy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Associated Press has reported that following Iran’s attack on a U.S. drone over the Gulf of Oman, the U.S. military carried out a cyber-attack on Iranian defense networks, which it claims managed to disable the nation’s missile systems.

Following the cyber-attack, which was approved by Donald Trump, commentators noted that the strike on Iran’s IT infrastructure also serves as a warning to states like China and North Korea.

The operation carried out by U.S. Cyber Command occurred shortly after the downing of the U.S. drone on Thursday (June 20), however, it was not reported until Saturday (June 22). Iran denies that any successful cyber-attack occurred, so the effectiveness of the operation remains unknown.

U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton has stated that disabling the power grid in the region where Iran's missile platforms are located would send a powerful warning to Iran, China, and others, according to Liberty Times (LTN).

Former U.S. military commander Vincent Brooks remarked that such an attack represents the opening of a new field of military operations for the U.S. government, LTN reported.

A recent report from China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT) highlights cyber operations as a matter of national security and a source of heightening tensions between the U.S. and China.

CNCERT claims that the scale and intensity of cyber-attacks originating in the U.S. make it appear that Washington is waging a total cyber-war on China, reported CPO Magazine on Monday (June 24).

The recent attacks on Iran’s missile systems may have been a demonstration of the U.S. Cyber Command’s capabilities. China is most likely following developments closely.