Mon, April 23, 2012
World > Middle East

Iran's Oil Ministry under cyber attacks: reports

2012-04-23 10:56:10 GMT2012-04-23 18:56:10(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The websites and communication systems of Iran's Oil Ministry have come under cyber attacks, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Monday.

Since 24 hours ago, as the internet services and communication systems of Iranian Oil Ministry came under massive cyber attacks, the experts of the ministry have established a "crisis headquarters" to confront the attacks, the report said.

Hamdollah Mohammadnejad, the deputy minister in engineering affairs, said that "currently, the operations to nullify these cyber attacks are in the agenda" of the ministry.

Whether these attacks are from inside or outside of Iran is under investigation, Mohammadnejad told Mehr.

Quoting an unnamed official in the Oil Ministry, the report said that at the moment, there is no problem in the fuel delivery systems of the country.

In order to control the attacks and viral penetration into the internet and communication systems of the ministry, the online connections to National Iranian Oil Company and its affiliated companies in Tehran and some other regions have been disrupted, according to Mehr.

Since Sunday, the internet systems of the operational sites of Kharg, Behreghan, Siri, Lavan, Qeshm and Kish in southern Iran have been disrupted but the issue has not caused any problem in production and exports of crude oil in the Persian Gulf region, said Mehr.

Iran's Oil Ministry spokesman Alireza Nikzad said that the attacks have not been able to target the essential data of the ministry, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.

"Regular data has only been harmed," said Nikzad, adding that a virus, which has been used to attack, has firstly damaged the motherboards and then deleted the data.

Also, the semi-official ISNA news agency said that the virus has been identified as "Viper" and, besides the websites of the Oil Ministry, it has targeted some other industrial websites.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi announced in October 2010 that Iran had detected and thwarted a virus aimed at infecting the country's nuclear plant system.

Iran said the computer worm, Stuxnet, infected 30,000 IP addresses in Iran, including the personal computers of the staff at the country's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr. It also claimed that Israel and conglomerate Siemens were behind the infection of Iranian industrial sites.


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