Iran poses a very real cyber-security threat to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries and could target key industries such as telecoms, oil, and gas, Al Arabiya English reports.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia's oil giant, Aramco, was hacked in 2012 in one of the world's biggest cyber-attacks, to date. A group called "Cutting Sword of Justice" claimed responsibility for the attack, which damaged around 30,000 computers with the aim of stopping oil and gas production.
"They're [Iran] viewed on the world stage as a top tier critical threat," Bruce Schneier, Security Expert and Fellow at the Berkman-Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University told Al Arabiya English. "I would take them very seriously."
The report says Dubai-based US company, CrowdStrike, is currently tracking 20 groups in Iran who could target the region for potential cyber-espionage or attacks.
In 2020, Iran was linked to an attempted cyber-attack aimed at disrupting Israeli water supplies, the Washington Post reported in May the same year. The incident, however, was contained before any damage could be done.
READ: Iran uses spyware to track and control citizens'; phones at protests – leaked documents