WASHINGTON, DC - The danger of retaliation from Iran is not necessarily over as US security experts are warning that the angry Islamic regime in Tehran may try cyber attacks against the US.
A day after the US drone strike that killed Qasem Soleiman, the lead general behind Iran's decades-long terrorism program, US Homeland Security issued a Terrorism Bulletin warning of "cyber disruptions, suspicious emails, and network delays."
Trevor Logan, a cyber expert with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, tells CBN News, "We've really watched Iran grow and turn into a more pronounced threat than a lot of people, a lot of states give it credit for."
Texas has already seen a spike in attempted cyber attacks. "An increase of attempted attacks from Iran on state agencies at a rate of about 10,000 per minute," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
But Logan says the more likely targets are private and the attacks often disrupt rather than destroying.
"The threat is interesting in that it is more of the smaller midsized businesses, banks and that sort of thing," Logan said.
Cases in point: In 2011 and 2013, Iranian cyber troops snarled US banks by overwhelming computer systems. In 2014, malicious Iranian malware wiped out data at the Las Vegas Sands Casino after its pro-Israel owner suggested bombing Iran. And in 2013, hackers penetrated systems at a New York State Dam.
Meanwhile, Facebook reports six major Iran-related takedowns over the last two years involving 5 million Facebook and Instagram users.
It's why places like the cyber range at Regent University's Institute for Cyber Security are preparing for more.
"When people come to train to be a cyber defender they're actually using real systems, generating real data, real network traffic," said Cyber defense trainer Don Murdoch.
"It's not simulated, it's not some two station lab. It's 15 to 20 network segments and 80 operating systems working together that looks like a small to medium sized business," Murdoch said.
Logan says even if you don't have a staff of defenders, you can protect yourself by practicing good cyber hygiene.
"If you're not looking for a link to click on make sure that's where you want to go to and you can trust that site," Logan said.
In this election year, a cyber attack could target political or diplomatic targets much like Russia did in 2016. Only Iran's goal would likely be much more crippling over the long term.