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What to Watch for in Wagging the Dog

Since the strike that killed Iranian Commander Major General Qassim Soleimani last week, there’s significant speculation about what to expect from Iran on the cyberwarfare front.  One minor government website was hacked over the weekend with a image of President Trump being punched in the face by a fist with an Iranian military logo on the sleeve.

Iran’s hacker community is very good, but the US cybersecurity arsenal is also very good.

Things to watch for:

  • Hacks to banking/financial services especially payment services
  • Hacks to healthcare systems (electronic medical records, utilities that power lifesaving technology)
  • Hacks to critical infrastructure (imagine all of the traffic lights in Los Angeles set to green only or a hack of a nuclear facility’s cooling technology or a hack of sewage systems that releases waste into the environment)
  • Hacks to foreign critical infrastructure (oil fields, airports etc.)

But if Iran really wants to hit Trump where it hurts, and target his hotel properties overseas.  There are Trump hotels and golf courses all over the word with hotels in Baku and Istanbul being likely targets.  Closer to home, there’s a Trump golf course in Palos Verdes, a Trump hotel in Las Vegas, a property in Hawaii.  A strike on American soil might be less likely.

When I attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2017, I went to the Trump hotel for lunch (and to the gift shop to note most of the hats and shirts were made abroad at the time).  I remember speaking with a few of the waitstaff.  They were actively seeking jobs elsewhere because they worried the Trump hotel in Las Vegas would be an obvious terrorism target.  And the food was pretty awful (worst cup of coffee I’ve ever had).

So if Iranian forces destroy a Trump property, is this an act of war?  Are we going to suddenly use taxpayers dollars to bolster security forces at Trump properties around the world?

The Iranian military is a much more formidable foe than Iraq.  Our young men and women in uniform shouldn’t be placed in harm’s way to protect the president’s business interests.

Congress needs to act to demand the evidence of this alleged imminent attack on America.  The problem the president has now is one of credibility.  When you’ve told more than 15,000 documented lies, its pretty hard to take the information we were about to be attacked seriously.  We all know how the story about the boy who cried wolf turned out.