No casualties were recorded.
These are planned attacks as they don’t happen overnight, which begs the question: was the shooting down of the US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz the drop the spilt the water or did escalating tensions in the region accelerate its launch?
It was likely a better option than the bombing strikes that were narrowly averted when Trump had a change of heart and decided to spare the lives of some 150 would be dead.
Is Iran retaliating?
John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye told AMEinfo that “FireEye has identified spearphishing activity conducted by Iranian threat actor APT33 concurrent with increasing tension in the Gulf region and with the U.S.”
He said the spearphishing campaign has targeted both public and private sectors in the U.S, is consistent with intelligence collection, and that the Iranian regime is also likely to be using cyber espionage to reduce the uncertainty surrounding the conflict.
“Notably, APT33 has historically carried out destructive cyber attacks in addition to intelligence collection,” Hultquist said.
Hultquist indicated that in recent years similar attacks by Iranian actors have primarily taken place in the Middle East, targeting private sector organizations such as oil and gas firms.
“Launching destructive and disruptive cyber attacks is a capability that Iran may use to cause economic damage without significantly escalating the conflict, similar to its previous sabotage of maritime organizations. Furthermore, if the U.S. is carrying out cyber attacks as reported, Iran may use their own capability as a means of proportionate response.”