Iranian cyberthreat increasing

Iran's cyberwarriors are becoming a rapidly growing and persistent threat that must be dealt with immediately, according to a new report, even as diplomats deal with a potential nuclear threat from the country in the future.

Cyberattacks from Iranian Internet addresses increased 128 percent from January 2014 to mid-March, according to a report released Friday by the American Enterprise Institute and the Norse Corp. The study on which the report was built used a network of several million sensors around the world to lure hackers into making attacks and detect their methods.

The initial report of "Project Pistachio Harvest" builds on what U.S. officials and cybersecurity companies have said about the growing threat of Iranian hacking and notes that the lifting of economic sanctions as a result of any nuclear deal "will create an influx of resources that will fuel the expansion of these capabilities."

"It would be comforting to imagine that the recently announced nuclear framework agreement will put a stop to all of this, that a new era of detente will end this cyber arms race," the report said. "There is, unfortunately, no reason to believe that that will be the case."