US carried out covert cyber operation against Iran last month
WASHINGTON : The US carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Teheran, two US officials said.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation late last month took aim at Teheran's ability to spread "propaganda".
One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details.
It highlights how President Donald Trump's administration has been trying to counter what it sees as Iranian aggression without spiralling into a broader conflict.
The strike appears more limited than other such operations against Iran this year after the downing of an American drone in June and an alleged attack by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on oil tankers in the Gulf in May.
The US, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the Sept 14 attack on Iran, which denied involvement in the strike.
The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen claimed responsibility.
Publicly, the Pentagon has responded by sending thousands of additional troops and equipment to bolster Saudi defences - the latest US deployment to the region this year.
Iran has used such tactics against the US.
This month, a hacking group that appears linked to the Iranian government tried to infiltrate e-mail accounts related to Mr Trump's re-election campaign.
Over 30 days in August and last month, the group, which Microsoft dubbed "Phosphorous", made more than 2,700 attempts to identify consumer accounts, then attacked 241 of them. - REUTERS