Iran Poses Greatest Hacking Threat to US: Officials

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Iranian hackers pose a greater threat to the U.S. than their Chinese counterparts, a new report suggests. The theory is that China is more interested in spying on the United States while Iran wants to harm vital U.S. systems.

The claims come in anonymous briefings given by U.S. government and security officials. They follow equally startling warnings by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which encourage U.S. businesses  to share details of security threats so that experts can look for common patterns.

Previously, U.S. security officials had pointed to the Middle East as a general area of concern. However, in recent weeks they have now narrowed the problem area to Iran. Officials strongly believe the Iranian government is behind new attacks but does not have enough evidence to make such a claim public.

Energy Tech Could Be Compromised

Government insiders haven't released precise details of the Iranian attacks but say they were able to access software that controls some energy services, such as oil and gas pipelines.

On this occasion the hackers weren't able to cause any actual damage. However, it's said they were able to access information that could allow them to disrupt or permanently damage the systems in a future attack. (Source:

Officials say they believe Iranian hackers need to be taken seriously, even if they don't have the financial support of their counterparts in China.

Chinese hackers don't have as much interest in bringing systems down. Instead, they need the U.S. to remain stable so that they have a steady stream of targets.

Iran Hacking May Be Fuelled By Stuxnet Attacks

It appears Iranian hackers have 'upped their game' in recent months. One theory is that the government in Iran has begun backing hackers as a response to the Stuxnet incident.

Stuxnet was a Windows-based virus that spread around the world in 2011. It's widely believed the virus was originally created by the US government to cause damage to equipment in Iran's nuclear program. (Source:

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