US targeted Iranian-backed militia group in cyberattack: report

The U.S. launched a major cyberattack against an Iranian proxy group in the days following the nation’s downing of a U.S. drone it says entered Iranian airspace, according to CNN.

The U.S. military conducted the attack against Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Shia militia with forces in Iraq and Syria, CNN reported, citing two U.S. officials with knowledge of the activity.

The cyberattack targeted the group’s networked communications, according to the officials, neither of whom would comment on how successful it was. The report comes shortly after another report that the U.S. had mounted cyberattacks against software Iran used to track commercial tankers in the Persian Gulf.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, which was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2009, has claimed responsibility for several attacks since 2007, according to the State Department, including a 2011 attack in Baghdad that killed five U.S. soldiers.

U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill, but told CNN “The US Central Command declines to comment on any potential cyberattack.”

The report follows continuing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, including a planned retaliatory strike against targets in Iran in response to the shooting down of the drone, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials’ powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE reportedly canceled at the last minute.

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