Remember When Iranian Hackers Attacked a US Casino? We Do
January 9th, 2020 3.00pm
And as the eyes of the whole world are on the Middle East, waiting to see whether the current crisis between Iran and the US could escalate to war, the casino empire based in Las Vegas, Nevada knows first-hand what is like to deal with angry Iran.
Back in the autumn of 2013, the founder of the renowned operator, as well as its Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sheldon Adelson, made certain comments regarding Iranian nuclear ambitions, which angered the officials of the Islamic Republic.
The controversial businessman said the US should send a warning to Iran by dropping a massive bomb in the middle of nowhere, that wouldn’t hurt anyone. Adelson then added the next one should be detonated in the middle of Tehran, the country’s capital.
“You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position”, were Adelson’s exact words.
We didn’t have to wait long for Iran’s response. The country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded by saying that America should react to statements like these while adding Adelson should be slapped in the mouth.
These Adelson’s statements came as no surprise, as the casino mogul is a fervent supporter of Israel, while Iran hasn’t recognized this country since the Revolution of 1979.
What Kind of Answer Can We Expect?
Following the murder of the second most powerful man in Iran and one of its top generals on January 3, the Islamic Republic is threatening action against the US forces in the region. This response could be in a digital form… and here’s why.
A couple of months after Adelson’s comments, someone attacked Las Vegas Sand’s computer network. The attack compromised all customer data stored on this network, including credit card and other personal information, such as social security numbers.
After a thorough investigation, which was completed in 2015, James Clapper, the then-director of National Intelligence, confirmed Iran was behind this attack. The experts believe Iran could repeat these attacks, albeit on a much larger scale.
James Lewis from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies said he was confident the Iranian hackers were preparing a list of options. However, he pointed out these attacks would be a viable option only if the right target was found.
Waiting to See What Happens Next
The trigger for the ongoing crisis was the murder of Qassem Soleimani, killed last week in neighbouring Iraq by missiles fired from a US drone.
Soleimani saw regarded as a terrorist by the US officials, who held him responsible for organizing a recent attack on the American embassy in Baghdad. In addition to this, Soleimani was allegedly responsible for the deaths of as much as 600 US soldiers.
Soleimani was considered a hero in Iran, while the country’s leader called him a “martyr”. During the general’s funeral, millions of mourners gathered on the streets of Tehran, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.
The US President Donald Trump said Iran was planning to target US assets as a revenge for the killing of Soleimani. However, Trump warned Iran that the US would quickly react if any Americans or any American assets were attacked.
The President explained there are a total of 52 sites across Iran that would be “hit very fast and very hard”. But at this moment, it is hard to say what reaction can we expect in case these attacks are carried out online.
The 2013 attack compromised all customer data stored on the Las Vegas Sands network.