Iranian official disputes report that power station was hit by virus attack
An Iranian civil defense official claims he only said the country was ready to repel cyberattacks, media reports say
IDG News Service - A power station in the south of Iran has been hit by a cyberattack, an Iranian news agency reported Tuesday, citing a local civil defense official. But now agency and official are in dispute over whether he really made the remarks.
The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) initially reported that cyberattackers had struck industrial infrastructure in the southern province of Hormuzgan, which overlooks the Straits of Hormuz.
The widely circulated report quoted Ali Akbar Akhavan as saying in a news conference that a virus had penetrated some manufacturing industries in Hormuzgan province, but that skilled hackers had helped halt its progress, according to a translation of the ISNA report published by Agence France Presse.
The attack, targeting Bandar Abbas Tavanir Co., an electrical utility, among other installations, had happened in the past few months and was "Stuxnet-like," the AFP report quoted Akhavan as saying.
But later Tuesday AFP published a new report saying that Akhavan had accused ISNA of misinterpreting his remarks.
"At a press conference we announced readiness to confront cyber attacks against Hormuzgan installations, which was mistakenly reported by the agencies as a cyber attack having been foiled," Akhavan told the Iranian state broadcaster, IRIB, according to AFP.
ISNA hit back, publishing MP3 files which it claimed contained Akhavan's initial remarks, and saying it stood by the accuracy of its initial story, according to a machine translation of the report.
In a further twist, however, ISNA also published a third report that, according to a machine translation, quoted other Iranian officials as saying there had been no attacks on electrical installations in the region.
This is not the first time there has been a dispute about whether a cyberattack has hit Iranian infrastructure. A report in late July that a virus was causing computers at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to play AC/DC song 'Thunderstruck' at full volume were roundly dismissed the following week by the organization's director, Fereydoun Abassi.
One attack the Iranians did confirm was the original Stuxnet attack. Officials said it infected 30,000 PCs in the country, including some at the Bushehr nuclear reactor. However, computer security analysts believe Stuxnet was written to attack the control systems of centrifuges used to enrich uranium at a different Iranian nuclear facility, Natanz.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts