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US officials say Iranian hackers compromised Navy computers

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Iranian Flag (Flickr)
Iranian Flag (Flickr)

US officials tell the Wall Street Journal that unclassified Navy computers have been hacked by a group either "working directly for Iran's government [or] acting with the approval of Iranian leaders." Since the compromised machines were fairly low-level, there was no valuable or classified information at risk, but if the allegations are true, the attack stands as Iran's first significant aggression in the malware arena after being targeted by US-linked hacking attacks like Stuxnet and Flame.

The report leaves many unanswered questions about the nature of the threat, declining to elaborate on either the sophistication of the attack or the nature of its connection to Iran. The news arrives on the heels of President Obama's recent talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but the timing of the attack itself is unclear, specified only to have occurred "in recent weeks." Many in the Pentagon have long been concerned about potential Iranian retaliation, and, as one official told the Journal, "their ability to also play in this sandbox compounds that concern."