The New York Times reported on February 18 that U.S. government agencies and some companies have been the target of aggressive Iranian and Chinese cyber-attacks recently.
According to the report, security experts believe that U.S. pressure against Iran and the trade disputes with China might have played a role in prompting the hackers to renew their attacks.
Both China and Iran have been implicated in the past as sources of cyber-attacks, although the Chinese government has always denied any role, claiming that individual hackers can be responsible. Iran has not rushed to clear its name, as it has always claimed asymmetrical warfare as a legitimate means.
In these recent Iranian attacks, American banks, businesses and government agencies have been subjected to more intense attacks. The National Security Agency and the security firm FireEye raised alarm according to NYT sources.
The Times says, that dozens of companies and multiple agencies have been hit; based on multiple sources who have spoken with the paper. The Department of Homeland Security had to declare an emergency during the recent government shutdown.