Breaking News
More () »

DHS says Iran may launch cyberattacks against U.S.

Homeland Security says it is working to detect and defend against any threats.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Department of Homeland Security is warning public and private sector organizations of the possibility of increased cyber attacks from Iran.

A Homeland Security bulletin released on Jan. 4, and coming hours after the drone attack against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, read: "Iran maintains a robust cyber program and can execute cyberattacks against the United States."

DHS recommended that organizations review emergency preparedness plans and stay up to date on current threat intelligence.

"This is all new terrain that we should be very much aware of and we should be very vigilant in this terrain," said Saltuk Karahan, an instructor of Political Science and Cybersecurity at Old Dominion University's Center for Cybersecurity Education & Research.

He says Iran, a country of 80 million people, absolutely possesses the cyber tools to hack into U.S. private sector and government systems and inflict a lot of damage.

'When you look at Iran, it's one of four nation-states that the United States is concerned about in terms of cyberattacks, along with North Korea, China and Russia," Karahan said.

Senate Intelligence Committee Co-Chairman Mark Warner of Virginia told 13News Now that it is completely possible that Iran will continue to seek ways to retaliate against the United States.

"I think we need to continue to be on guard," Warner said. "We need to be on guard against Iranian cyber attacks, where they might try to mask that it was actually Iran launching those attacks. While Iran itself and its military may not take attacks, they may unleash their proxies."

Homeland Security wrote that while an "attack in the homeland may come with little or no warning," the department is working with state and local officials to "detect and defend against any threats to the U.S."

RELATED: WATCH Live: House debates on restraining Trump’s military powers against Iran

RELATED: 'It's a struggle' | Military families feel the stress of deployment year round

RELATED: VERIFY: Separating fact from fiction on claims about Iran's airstrike on Iraqi bases

RELATED: Norfolk-based USS Bataan redirected to Middle East amid Iran tensions

Before You Leave, Check This Out