Good point. If Iran wants a highly visible retaliatory strike then a stealthy cyberattack is unlikely to fit the requirement…:
[…] Iran and the U.S. have been engaged in a cyberwar for years — the U.S. has reportedly used computer viruses to disrupt Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities and oil infrastructure, while Iranian hackers were reportedly responsible for a cyberattack that crippled the government of Atlanta, Georgia, in 2018 — but chances are you haven’t even missed an email despite the ongoing conflict.
There is a possibility that Iran could hack the systems controlling America’s water treatment plants or power grids — but that would be a far more advanced type of cyberattack than the nation has launched in the past.
“It would be a significant escalation in terms of patience, capability, and long-term targeting,” Dragos’ Principal Adversary Hunter Joe Slowik told MIT Tech Review.
Additionally, one of the benefits of attacking an enemy in cyberspace over, say, dropping a bomb on them is that the digital world provides a greater opportunity to disguise the source of the attack.
Ideally, you get to hurt your enemy without them knowing you’re responsible and retaliating — meaning that if revenge is what Iran is after, a covert cyberattack is unlikely to satisfy.