The US missile strike that killed Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani last week has increased tensions between the US and Iran. The Western Standard reports that Iran has withdrawn from the nuclear arms agreement it concluded with the United Nations Security Council several years ago. The US says that it killed Soleimani in order to disrupt "imminent" attacks on US personnel that he was organizing and directing. It was, the Washington Post quotes US President Trump as saying, an attack meant to stop a war, not start one. The President has also warned Iran not to consider retaliation (he said he has, the Military Times notes, an additional fifty-two targets the US can hit should Iran undertake any further action against US personnel or interests). Iran of course has vowed reprisals, and the US Department of Homeland Security has issued a Bulletin on the National Terrorism Advisory System that warns against the possibility of both terrorist attacks and cyberattacks against US targets. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs has tweeted both a warning and a recommendation that enterprises review Iranian cyber tactics, techniques, and procedures. They should, he says, “pay close attention to your critical systems, particularly ICS.” US defensive measures may be expected to pay particular attention to industrial control systems.
US allies are evaluating their own state of readiness. NATO leaders are meeting in Brussels this afternoon, Reuters reports, to consider how to address the conflict between Iran and the US.
The English-language Moscow Times takes a look at Russia's new Internet control law, expected to receive an extensive real-world trial this year. The goal is autarkic: the measures require all ISPs to install tools that give Roskomnadzor, the country's Internet "watchdog" access to all Internet traffic, presumably with a capability for deep-packet inspection that can track content and activity without user knowledge or interaction. Russia's new "sovereign Internet" will also feature its own domain name system. The Moscow Times quotes observers as predicting that all of this may prove more difficult to do in practice than the government hopes.