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.
- Securing Mobility, From Device to Network At one time, the process of managing and securing mobile devices and applications was fairly straightforward. Most organizations worried about one application (email)...
- Need to Replace MS Threat Management Gateway? Read this article to learn how F5's Secure Web Gateway solution provides a full set of features that can help you successfully migrate...
- The Shortfall of Network Load Balancing Applications running across networks encounter a wide range of performance, security, and availability challenges as IT department strive to deliver fast, secure access...
- Leave No App Behind with Software Defined Application Services F5 Software Defined Application Services (SDAS) is the next-generation model for delivering application services that enables service injection, consumption, automation, and orchestration across...
- Live Webcast IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different.... All Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!