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FBI Director: Iranian backed hackers attempted cyber attack on Boston Children’s Hospital last year

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Federal Bureau of Investigations Director Christopher Wray announced the Iranian government was involved in a “despicable” cyber attack attempt last year. Hackers, backed by Iran’s government, had its sites on the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Reuters reports Wray discussed the terrifying information in a speech delivered during a conference hosted by Boston College. The Director was discussing the rising threat of cyber attacks against the U.S. sponsored by tyrannical governments such as Iran, Russia and China. Particularly he mentioned the threat against U.S. companies and infrastructure.

Wray in March said that Iranian-sponsored hackers had in June 2021 compromised an unnamed children’s hospital. Boston Children’s Hospital, a 395-bed facility, in a statement confirmed that FBI and its staff had “proactively thwarted the threat to our network.”

“We got a report from one of our intelligence partners indicating Boston Children’s was about to be targeted, and understanding the urgency of the situation, the cyber squad in our Boston field office raced out to notify the hospital,” Wray said.

The FBI said it contacted the hospital in August 2021, and Wray said officials were able to quickly get the nationally renowned children’s hospital the information it needed to “stop the danger right away” and mitigate the threat.

“Quick actions by everyone involved, especially at the hospital, protected both the network and the sick kids that depend on it,” Wray said in the most extensive disclosure by U.S. authorities of the incident.

Wray called the incident “one of the most despicable cyberattacks I have ever seen” and an example of the increasing risks hospitals and other providers of critical infrastructure face from hackers, including state-sponsored ones.

“If malicious cyber actors are going to purposefully cause destruction, or hold data and systems for ransom, they tend to hit us somewhere that’s really going to hurt,” Wray said.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Twin1by4

    June 4, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    And we should believe Wray why??

  2. WT GERALDS

    June 4, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    DIRECTOR WRAY
    YOU ARE A POOR EXCUSE FOR A LEADER. YOU FALL INTO THE SAME BRACKET AS McCABE…SEDITIOUS/TREASONOUS TRAITOR. DOES ANYONE THINK THAT A CYBER ATTACK AGAINST A CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CAN DRAW ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE EGREGIOUS CONDUCT OF THE ORGANIZATION YOU QUESTIONABLY HEAD UP…?
    IT’S A JOKE!

  3. WT GERALDS

    June 4, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    all caps is because i am quadhandicap vet

  4. Pat Smith

    June 6, 2022 at 6:40 am

    Should anyone believe anything stated by Chris Wray?

  5. Roy Frontu

    June 6, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Who really believes this crap? What great timing. The FBI releases a press release demonstrating how they allegedly saved children against a cyber-attack but miss all the obvius signs of impending shootings at grade schools across the country at every turn.

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International

Arab States Unlikely to Join Broad Military Defense with Israel Against Iran

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Iranian Sayyad 3 missiles

In an effort to re-charge the Abraham Accords launched by the Trump administration, Sens. Jodi Ernst (R-IA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the DEFEND Act, which calls for US leadership in supporting Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait) to form a joint air and missile defense against Iran. The Biden administration will also visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority from July 13-16. His visit to Saudi Arabia will include a “GCC+3” summit that would reportedly include the leaders of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and the members of the GCC.

But this grand summit faces some serious challenges. While the UAE and Bahrain are already coordinating with Israel on defense, the other GCC countries plus Iraq are quite far from such a possibility. And Saudi Arabian normalization with Israel is the Biden administration’s diplomatic breakthrough to lose.

Iraq seems far from any reconciliation with Israel. Iraq recently made it illegal for Iraqi citizens to have any ties with the Jewish State, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment. The law is so egregious that even the State Department condemned it.

Kuwait continues to express outright hostility to Israel. Yes, it is refreshing to hear that a Kuwaiti editorial supported normalization with Israel and bashed the Palestinians, calling for the Gulf States to cut off aid to the latter. But Kuwait has shown little signs of changing its actual policy towards Israel. Kuwait recently banned maritime shipping between Israel and Kuwait, as well as the film Death on the Nile because it featured Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

Qatar is a long way away from joining the Abraham Accords, and any defense agreement that would involve Israel. In a welcomed diplomatic step, Qatar will allow Israelis to visit the country using Israeli passports to attend the FIFA World Cup. Israel will also propose an arrangement with Qatar where Israel would have direct flights to the country for the World Cup. While these are welcome developments, Qatar must abandon significant hostility to Israel like its support for jihadist groups and state-sponsored anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism before it can join any broader defense agreement with the Jewish State.

While Oman has clandestine ties with Israel, it has stated numerous times that it will not join the Abraham Accords. While warm to Israel, it also has a strong relationship with Iran which includes military cooperation. So, Oman joining a defense pact against Iran seems absurd.

The most likely country to join Israel, UAE and Bahrain in a defense pact against Iran would be Saudi Arabia, who has to its credit moved incrementally closer to normalization with Israel. US and Israel are reportedly in the midst of helping to broker the transfer of strategic islands in the Red Sea from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Both US National Security Council Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk and State Department energy envoy Amos Hochstein were recently in Riyadh to help broker this deal. According to Axios, the Biden administration seeks to clinch a deal between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel on these islands before the GCC+3 summit. The deal would also serve a two-fold purpose: 1) to advance normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel; and 2) to improve US-Saudi relations that have long been antagonized by the Biden administration’s anti-Saudi policies. Israel wants security arrangements regarding the islands, as well as access to Saudi airspace to Asia, in addition to direct flights for those seeking pilgrimages from Tel Aviv to Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia currently grants Israel limited access to its airspace for flights to the UAE and Bahrain.

And as the Wall Street Journal has reported, there have been a growing number of secret business and security discussions between the two countries. According to an Israeli newspaper Globes, “dozens” of Israeli businessmen recently traveled to Saudi Arabia using special visas and their Israeli passports. This report further alleges that Israeli businessmen have been travelling to Riyadh and the future location of Neom, a planned hi-tech city, for months. The Globes article further mentions that Israelis and Saudis have already signed “a number of agreements” which each other, “including a multi-million dollar deal in the agriculture tech sector and a second deal for an Israeli water tech solution.”

The greatest hope for a broader Gulf defense agreement with Israel against Iran would be if Saudi Arabia joins the UAE and Bahrain in normalizing ties with Israel, with one or more countries following suit. Israel and Saudi Arabia have made strides towards normalization. But the Biden administration must follow its shuttle diplomacy with reversals of numerous counter-productive anti-Saudi policies. It must climb down the tree it planted when it accused MBS or orchestrating Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, without presenting hard evidence and ignoring Khashoggi’s checkered past. And it must support Saudi Arabia in its war against Iran’s proxies, the Houthi terrorists in Yemen. Only when America reconciles with Saudi Arabia can the region see a broadening of the Abraham Accords.

NOTE: Due to an editorial error an earlier draft of this story was posted, it is now updated. 

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