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“Unusual”: the new intel-speak for “Iranian”

October 5, 2012

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the HPSCI (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, for those who aren’t reading my blog enough), yesterday said that “unusual” new cyberthreats pose a major threat to the U.S. financial sector. Although Rep. Rogers did not formally connect this super-scary new threat with a particular country in his talk at a cybersecurity event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the number of times he mentioned Iran otherwise left little doubt that he was talking about Friends of Ahmedinejad.

Based on IC secret-squirrel briefings in recent months, Rogers tended to alarmism here: “What people don’t realize is that we are in war today in cyberspace,” he stated, adding, “this is the biggest national security threat I can think of that we are not prepared to handle in this country today.”

He’s the HPSCI boss, he’s getting better briefings than I am these days, so I’ll pretty much take his word for it. The almost-overt connection to Iran is interesting, politically, but the larger point is that anyone in DC should be surprised that the Iranians are going in for cyberwar against us. After all, between Stuxnet and related online nastiness, we’ve been targeting Iran’s critical infrastructure for years, in tandem with the Israelis and others, plus the sanctions we’ve gotten placed on Iran are now basically wrecking their whole economy, so what did we think Tehran is going to do? FDR’s depriving the Japanese of oil, the imported lifeblood of their economy back in 1941, encouraged a lot of moderation from Tokyo, if memory serves ….

Translation: How dare the Iranians conduct cyberattacks on us, only we (and the Israelis) get to do that!

This is going to get interesting fast …

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One Comment
  1. Casey permalink

    Well said. I’ve been wondering for a while now how exactly how our use of Stuxnet et.al., can been seen as anything other than cyberterrorism. If Iran put out a virus aimed at gumming up our centrifuges, it would be an act of war. Maybe we should put ourselves on the list of nations that sponsor terrorism, since that is exactly what we do.

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