Cybersecurity firms say Iran has increased its offensive cyberattacks against the U.S. government and critical infrastructure as tensions have grown between the two nations.
CrowdStrike and FireEye, which regularly track such activity, say in recent weeks hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted U.S. government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy, including oil and gas.
The firms say the hackers have sent waves of spear-phishing emails.
It is not known if the hackers managed to gain access to the targeted networks with the emails, which typically mimic legitimate emails but contain malicious software.
The cyber offensive is the latest chapter in ongoing cyber operations between the U.S. and Iran. The recent sharp increase is occurring after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector this month.
Meanwhile, U.S. news outlets reported June 22 that the United States launched cyberattacks against Iranian military computer systems on June 20, hours after Iran downed a U.S. surveillance drone.
The Washington Post and AP, citing unnamed U.S. officials, on June 22 reported that the strikes were conducted with the approval of President Donald Trump.