Trump's Iran nuclear deal withdrawal could spark cyber war, experts warn

President Trump's threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal have fuelled the risk of a potential cyber war between the US and Iran, security experts have warned.

The deal is an agreement between Iran and the major world powers, including the US, EU, China and Russia, which places strict limits on Iran's nuclear weapons programme in exchange for the removal of sanctions on the country's economy.

However, Trump has been a vocal opponent of the deal for a number of years and has publicly announced his intention to withdraw the US from it, reinstating sanctions on Iran. This has been a controversial proposition, with many warning that it could lead to escalating hostilities between the two countries.

In fact, according to cyber security company Stealthcare, this could already be happening. The company has stated that it has detected a substantial increase in the production of malware from hacking groups linked to the Iranian government since Trump announced his intentions to pull out of the deal.

"After tracking and collecting intelligence on Advanced Persistent Threats or APTs from Iran over the past year, Stealthcare's Zero Day Live (ZDL) threat intelligence platform has detected a significant uptick in the development, deployment and weaponization of malware emanating from Iranian state threat actors since the announcement," said Stealthcare CEO Jeremy Samide.

"Given renewed anger directed toward the US by Iranian state threat actors, a proportional and logical response to the withdrawal can be expected. This would most likely come to increased, coordinated cyber attacks against the West."

This would not be the first time that Iran's nuclear program was at the centre of a major international cyber security incident. In 2010, the country's nuclear program was targeted by the Stuxnet worm, a devastating piece of malware which is widely suspected to have been developed by the US and Israel in order to derail Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

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