Under Fire: Cipher Brief Wargame Shows Difficulty of Deterrence in Cyberspace

It’s Labor Day, September 4, 2017, and the National Security Agency has just intercepted communications between the senior leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the militant purveyors of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and employees of the Iranian companies ITSecTeam and Mersad. The communications reveal future disruptive cyber attacks against U.S. public and private institutions, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Reserve, as well as a other cryptic targets in the financial sector.

The intercepted communications also mention Iranian command and control servers with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in Turkey, France, South Korea, and Russia. The attack is scheduled to take place later in the month at an unspecified time and date, but little else is known. The New York Times has gotten wind of the crisis, publishing a story that the President of the United States has been briefed on the imminent threat. 

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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Categorized as:Reporting Tech/Cyber

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