Iran gas stations hit by massive cyberattack – report

Iran gas stations hit by massive cyberattack – report

A cyberattack in Iran messaged some hacked systems, addressing Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and demanding “where is the gas?”


Gas stations across Iran malfunctioned on Tuesday, reportedly due to a massive cyberattack, according to a mix of Iranian and Hebrew media sources.

With the exact details still hazy, there is already rife speculation about whether the purported cyberattack came from the US, Israel or a range of local Iranian anti-regime groups.

According to reports, messages were posted in some systems that were hacked addressing Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directly and demanding to know “where is the gas” – with the timing coming around two years after nationwide protests of gas shortages in fall 2019.

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Last week, Iran carried out a complex and coordinated strike on US forces in Syria, using up to five armed drones to strike at the Tanf garrison, a key strategic point near the Jordanian and Iraqi border.

The attack was the latest in a series of such drone strikes on US forces.

In a press briefing on Monday, US envoy to Iran Rob Malley referenced potential upcoming US actions to deter Iranian aggression within the region, while refusing to hint what those actions might be.

Washington is considered the world’s greatest offensive cyber power by far but has often been hesitant to use its offensive cyber capabilities against groups other than ISIS, for fear of a cyber backlash.

Under the Trump administration, the US did hack certain major Iranian intelligence sea-based operations to get the Islamic Republic to back off from attacking American allies at sea.

But the Biden administration has not done so to date, as it has focused on building goodwill for a mutual return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Israel reportedly hacked Iran's Shahid Rajaee port on May 9, 2020, as a counter strike for an attempted Iranian cyber strike on Israel's water supply the previous month.

Iran has also accused the Mossad, the US and various European intelligence agencies of using the STUXNET virus to hack its Natanz nuclear facility in 2009-2010.

Former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) cyber official Harel Menashri told KAN radio on Tuesday that there was a good chance that the hacker would have to be a nation-state to accomplish such a widespread hack.

However, recent months have also seen amateur hackers cause major problems to the US and European powers with sophisticated ransomware and other attacks – and the Khamenei regime has many local enemies from Iran’s many minorities.

In August, Check Point Software Technologies issued a report stating that an Iranian dissident group called Indra executed the mega hack on the Islamic Republic’s train system on July 9, not Israel.

Check Point said Indra’s hack of Iran’s train system was “an example for governments around the world of how a single group can create disruption on critical infrastructure.”

Part of what was so unusual about the attack was that it was a non-state organization inflicting damage to Iran’s physical infrastructure on a nation-state level.

If non-state groups are traditionally thought of as lacking the capability to do more than hack websites and data, this was an example of such a group causing profound real-world damage.

Indra’s tools destroyed data without direct means to recover it by using a “wiper,” or malware designed to wipe the entire data system of critical infrastructure, making the recovery process complicated, locking users out of machines, changing passwords and replacing wallpapers to custom messages crafted by attackers.

Part of the attack included the posting of fake messages about train delays and cancellations on terminal display boards across Iran.