FBI warns businesses about large-scale Iranian hacking threats

Iranian nuclear reactor

There's still some debate over the scale of Iran's reported Operation Cleaver hacking campaign, but the FBI is clearly taking it seriously. According to Reuters' copy of a confidential report, the federal law enforcement agency is warning businesses of advanced Iranian hacks targeting American defense, education and energy firms. The alert stops short of accusing Iran of a cyberwarfare campaign, but notes that the attacks usually come from two connections within the country. There isn't exactly a huge list of suspects here.

To security company Cylance, which first spotted Cleaver, the warning is a sign that the campaign is larger than first thought -- it emphasizes Iran's "determination and fixation" to breach and spy on crucial infrastructure. The nation's government denies any involvement, but it's hard to imagine the FBI letting the country off the hook quite so easily given accusations that Iran broke into US Navy computers last year. No matter who's responsible, it's evident that the US' most vital companies now have one more thing to worry about.

[Image credit: IIPA via Getty Images]