A Muslim group identified as the "Izz ad-Din al Qassam Cyber Fighters" has claimed responsibility for at least a portion of the recent attacks, as banks scrambled to conduct damage control, and reassure both customers and shareholders.
Iran’s Civil Defense Organization told the Fars News Agency that the Tehran government has had no role in the incidents. However, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman openly suspects Iran, based on statements made by the senator during an interview on C-SPAN.
Lieberman's cybersecurity bill, which was aimed at developing processes to address threats such as these, failed in the Senate last month in a vote that was cast largely along party lines. Proponents say a comprehensive national response is necessary for the safety of the public and the safety of commerce. But, opponents claim that the outcome would likely place too much restriction on business and potentially bring about privacy issues. President Obama is pondering a cybersecurity executive order expected to institute many of the terms included in the bill, but at this point the exact extent of any such order is unknown.
Meanwhile, the threat is seen as a significant one.
"I think cyber terrorism is a very real and present threat because it only takes one person to do it," added Bit9’s Sverdlove. "One person with a laptop and an ax to grind can do more damage than one single person has been able to do in the past. We can't control them all, and there will always be enemies."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 28, 2012