Christopher Krebs, director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, announced that the government has seen an increase in cyber attacks by state-backed Iranian hackers, who targeted federal agencies and private companies in the U.S., Bloomberg reported Sunday.
“Iranian regime actors and proxies are increasingly using destructive ‘wiper’ attacks, looking to do much more than just steal data and money,” Krebs said in a statement. “These efforts are often enabled through common tactics like spear phishing, password spraying, and credential stuffing.”
The increase in cyber attacks comes amid the conflict between Iran and the U.S. President Trump decided to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018, and announced a plan to impose another round of economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern country this month.
On Thursday, the president reportedly gave the green light for an offensive cyber strike that disabled computer systems that Iran used to control rocket and missile launches. Krebs said amid the growing incidents of cyber attacks against the U.S., agencies and companies should increase defense using new cybersecurity tools, such as multi-factor authentication.