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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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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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