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19 Dec, 2023 08:42

Israel-linked hackers claim cyberattack on Iran

About 70% of the country’s petrol stations were reportedly paralyzed on Monday
Israel-linked hackers claim cyberattack on Iran

A hacking group widely reported as being linked to Israel has taken responsibility for a cyberattack that crippled Iran’s consumer fuel network on Monday.

According to Reuters, citing Iran’s oil minister, Javad Owji, around 70% of the Islamic Republic’s gas stations were hit by service disruptions due to the cyberattack. The disruption reportedly forced many petrol stations to operate manually, leading to long lines of cars and angry crowds.

A group called Gonjeshke Darande, or ‘Predatory Sparrow’ in Persian, claimed it was behind the attack in a post on the social media platform X (former Twitter).

“We, Gonjeshke Darande, carried out another cyberattack today, taking out a majority of the gas pumps throughout Iran. This cyberattack comes in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region,” the post reads.

The hackers claim to have warned Iran’s emergency services before the cyberattack to minimize harming civilians.

“As in our previous operations, this cyberattack was conducted in a controlled manner while taking measures to limit potential damage to emergency services,” the hackers wrote.

“We delivered warnings to emergency services across the country before the operation began and ensured a portion of the gas stations across the country were left unharmed for the same reason, despite our access and capability to completely disrupt their operation.”

The group also addressed Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, posting on X, “Khamenei, playing with fire has a price.” 

Iran has been subjected to multiple cyberattacks in recent times. According to state media reports, the pro-Israeli hacker group had in the past claimed cyberattacks against the country’s petrol stations, rail networks, and steel factories. 

Meanwhile, Iran’s civil defense agency said on Monday an investigation was underway as it was still examining all possible causes for the disruptions.

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