Classified documents apparently revealing numerous secret Iranian plans to launch cyber attacks against western nations have been obtained by Sky News.
The various plots to hack infrastructure in the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries included attacks that could sink a cargo ship or blow up a fuel pump at a petrol station, as well as a computer-based system that controls lights, heating and ventilation in smart buildings worldwide.
The source said he believed the documents are evidence of attempts by a secret, offensive unit that is part of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' cyber command to collect intelligence on civilian infrastructure that could be used to identify targets for future cyber attacks.
"They are creating a target bank to be used whenever they see fit," he said
Sky News interviewed UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who said the allegations were serious if they were authentic.
"Unless we do something about it, our critical national infrastructure, our way of life could be threatened quite easily," he said.
Gen. Patrick Sanders, the top military officer overseeing British cyber operations, added that Iran is “among the most advanced cyber actors. We take their capabilities seriously. We don’t overstate it. They are a serious actor and they have behaved really irresponsibly in the past."
It was unclear who revealed the documents, but the leak appeared to be an effort to embarrass Tehran in the eyes of European nations to potentially influence their views on a range of issues concerning Iran, according to The Jerusalem Post.
There is currently a standoff regarding whether Iran and the US will return to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, and undermining European trust in the intentions of Tehran could further destabilize those already drawn-out and difficult negotiations.
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