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15 Oct, 2020 14:25

Iran says it has repelled large-scale cyberattacks on its government institutions

Iran says it has repelled large-scale cyberattacks on its government institutions

Two Iranian government institutions became the targets of massive cyberattacks earlier this week, but the relevant Iranian agencies reacted quickly and repelled them, an official in Tehran has disclosed.

The attempts to hack the unspecified government bodies were made on Monday and Tuesday, Abolghasem Sadeghi, the deputy head of security of Iran’s IT Organization (Maher), said.

The attacks were “important and on a large scale,” but they failed to inflict any significant damage due to being swiftly identified and eliminated, he claimed.

However, Sadeghi stopped short of naming the party that Tehran considered responsible for the attacks.

Iran had earlier blamed the US, Israel and some other countries of trying to break into its networks, saying that the country's agencies have been placed on high alert for hacking attempts.

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In 2019, the US officials confirmed a cyberattack on Tehran, carried out in response to drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who receive backing from Iran.

In May, the operations of a major Iranian port on the strategic Strait of Hormuz were disrupted by hackers, with sources saying that Israel was likely behind the incursion. The incident was preceded by three major cyberattacks on Iranian institutions in December, with at least one of them being “state-sponsored,” according to Tehran.

The country’s cybersecurity wall, Dezhfa, repelled a total of 33 million cyberattacks last year, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, the Islamic republic’s technology minister, announced earlier.

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The US and its allies, for their part, are accusing Tehran of malign activities in cyberspace. Sources told Reuters that government-backed Iranian hackers tried to access the personal email accounts of World Health Organization (WHO) staff at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak. Iran has denied the claims.

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