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Iran’s petrol stations nationwide have been disrupted by a cyberattack, according to Iranian officials, who have placed blame on a hacking group linked to Israel, Iranian and Israeli media report.
It is unclear how many petrol stations have been affected in the attack, with the Iranian oil minister saying earlier on Monday that some 70% had been disrupted, but later noting that 1,650 out of 3,800 petrol stations had been attacked. Iran is blaming a hacking group that goes by the name of “Predatory Sparrow” (Gonjeshke Darande), which issued a Telegram statement saying that the attack was “carried out in a controlled manner to avoid potential damage to emergency services”. The stated reason for the attack was “in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region”.
The same group has claimed responsibility for cyberattacks on Iran in the past.
“Khamenei, playing with fire has a price,” the group warned. “This is just a taste of what we have in store.”
The hacking group also said it had gained access to petrol station payment systems and central server and management systems.
The cyberattacks follow a series of fires at Iranian refineries.
On December 10, a fire broke out at Iran’s Birjand oil refinery in South Khorasan, where an expansion project was launched less than a year ago. Damage was done to the tune of $14 million, according to Iranian media. Days later, on December 16, another fire broke out at a crude oil distillation unit at a refinery in the Iranian city of Isfahan, injuring four people, according to Iranian media outlets. No cause for the Isfahan fire was reported.
In both cases, it remains unclear if the cause was natural and due to outdated technology, or whether sabotage was at play.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com