Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed on Tuesday that the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) has seen an explosion of cyber attacks from Iran this week as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have continued to escalate.
ABC 13 reported:
While addressing the Domestic Terrorism Task Force on Tuesday … Abbott said there have been up to 10,000 attempted attacks per minute from Iran over the last 48 hours.
“These attacks from Iran-based entities, as well as other entities across the globe, are going to continue,” Abbott said. “I think it’s very important that everyone be particularly vigilant right now about what may happen out of Iran.”
In a statement, DIR executive director Amanda Crawford said, “The Texas Department of Information Resources constantly detects and blocks malicious traffic on the networks of the multiple state agencies it services. In the past 48 hours, DIR observed an increase in network activity from outside the United States, including Iran. As global threats to cybersecurity increase, we urge Texans to be vigilant and use heightened awareness as they conduct Internet activity.”
Late last week, Politico reported that Iran, which has a “history of aggressive cyberattacks,” could potentially seek revenge against the United States through cyber attacks:
Tehran is widely considered to be one of the world’s most malicious online actors — alongside China, Russia and North Korea — and has a lengthy rap sheet of transgressions with an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of digital weapons.
One of its specialties is so-called wiper attacks, in which malicious software erases the hard drives of infected computers. Those include a massive 2012 hack on the Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco that is reported to have debilitated an estimated 30,000 computers.
The statement from Abbott comes as tensions between the United States and Iran reached a new-level on Tuesday night when Iran fired numerous missiles at bases in Iraq that reportedly housed U.S. troops. The New York Times reported:
“The fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards has begun,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said in a statement on a Telegram messaging app channel.
Iraqi military officials said that Iran had fired 22 missiles at two military bases in Iraq where American troops are stationed. United States officials initially said there were no immediate indications of American casualties, and senior Iraqi officials later said that there were no American or Iraqi casualties in the strikes.
Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs reported that the following officials were with President Donald Trump in the Situation Room on Tuesday night after Iran launched the attack:
- Mike Pence – Vice President
- Mike Pompeo -Secretary of State
- Mark Esper – Secretary of Defense
- Mark Milley – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Mick Mulvaney – Director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Robert O’Brien – United States National Security Advisor
- Joseph Maguire – Acting Director of National Intelligence
- Stephanie Grisham – White House Press Secretary
- Gina Haspel – CIA Director (joined remotely)
Among those with Trump in Situation Room tonight after Iran fired a series of missiles at two U.S.-Iraqi airbases:
CIA’s Gina Haspel joined remotely.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 8, 2020
President Trump posted an update on the assessment of the damage from the attacks on Twitter late Tuesday: “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020