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FBI Director Warns of Increased Iranian AttacksFBI Director Warns of Increased Iranian Attacks
Christopher Wray tells the US Senate that more US infrastructure will be targeted for cyberattacks in the wake of the Gaza conflict.
November 1, 2023
FBI director Christopher Wray has warned that the ongoing conflict in the Middle East has raised the threat of a cyberattack against the US.
In a statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Wray said there has been an increase in attacks on US military bases overseas, carried out by militia groups backed by Iran, and he anticipates further physical attacks and cyberattacks.
He said the "cyber targeting of American interests and critical infrastructure" has been seen, conducted by both Iran and non-state actors alike, and this will likely get worse if the conflict expands.
Outpacing the Adversaries
However, Wray did say the FBI is able to "outpace our adversaries" and that the agency had disrupted 40% more cyber operations than last year and arrested 60% more cybercriminals than in 2021.
He concluded by saying the FBI's FISA 702 authority was "indispensable" in its critical intelligence collection, referring to Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which permits the US government to conduct targeted surveillance of foreigners outside the US. Wray added it would be "absolutely devastating if the next time an adversary like Iran or China launches a major cyberattack, we don't see it coming because 702, one of our most important tools, was allowed to lapse."
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