Iran has been the target of a number of cyber-attacks this year, and even though it increased the level of its cyber security following the Stuxnet virus in 2010, which successfully attacked and disrupted the centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility, the occasional worm does get through and cause havoc.
On Wednesday Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, told the Iranian Labour News Agency that a new cyber-attack had effectively targeted Iran’s infrastructure and communications companies, severely disrupting the internet across the whole country.
“Yesterday we had a heavy attack against the country's infrastructure and communications companies which has forced us to limit the Internet.”
“Presently we have constant cyber-attacks in the country. Yesterday an attack with a traffic of several gigabytes hit the Internet infrastructure, which caused an unwanted slowness in the country's Internet.”
“All of these attacks have been organised. And they have in mind the country's nuclear, oil, and information networks.”
Since sites such as Youtube and Facebook were used to organise mass anti-government protests against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in 2009, the Iranian government has maintained one of the world’s largest internet filters, blocking access to thousands of sites and IP addresses. Yet still the hackers find a way in.
Last month a commander in the elite Revolutionary Guard announced that Iran is ready to defend itself against any form of cyber war, as the country deems it more of a threat than a physical attack. Clearly they were not as ready as they thought.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com