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Kinetic Attack to Destroy Iranian Nuclear Capabilities Can Occur

 If there is a serious and concerted effort to destroy Iranian nuclear capabilities through digital means and it fails or is significantly challenged then a kinetic attack would most likely occur sooner rather than later, founder of WAF Enterprises, securty expert Amrit Williams told Trend.

Iranian officials have announced that to avoid future cyberattacks, the country plans to unplug key government agencies from the Internet.

Reportedly, key government sites will be functioning within a closed, nationwide network.

The plan to build a closed, nationwide intranet began in 2005. Two years ago, a limited test network was launched in the province of Qom.

Iran's telecom chief Reza Taghipour said establishment of the national intelligence network will create a situation where the precious intelligence of the country won't be accessible to outside powers.

He said the World Wide Web could not be trusted because it was controlled by "one or two" countries hostile to Iran.

Amrit Williams believes that creation of a closed government-monitored network still does not give guarantees that it will not be penetrated.

"Obviously removing critical systems from the Internet is a good direction for anyone concerned with state-sponsored cyberattacks and 'air-gapped' networks are common in Government, especially in the intelligence and defense communities,yet they are not impenetrable," Williams noted.

"Even the US has fallen prey to malware transferred through USB and other media," he said.

With regard to the published news about establishing such network, Williams admitted that it does increase some possibility of an attack.

"Such can be expected from folks who are curious if they can penetrate such systems, however I believe the well-funded, state-sponsored attacker is working on a timeline independent of how Iran progresses with their cybersecurity initiative," he explained.

Iranian officials have on many occasions announced that Iran has successfully repelled all cyber attacks against the country's infrastructures, including nuclear facilities.

Although the Iranian government has foiled several cyber attacks in the aftermath of the "Stuxnet" worm that sought to disrupt its uranium enrichment work, Tehran may need to intensify its measures for its digital security, some analysts said.

In July, Deputy Chief of Staff in Mobilization Force and Defense Culture Affairs Brigadier Seyyed Mas'oud Jazayeri said Iranian armed forces will establish cyber defense headquarters for online protection and monitoring possible threats.