Iran ‘foils second cyber-attack in a week’

A digital screen displays a live cyber-hack attack during a press conference at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Wiesbaden, Germany, 11 November 2019 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Cyber-attacks aim to take over – or cripple – entire computer systems

Iran has foiled a second cyber-attack in under a week, the country’s telecommunications minister says.

Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said the attack had targeted Iranian electronic government systems.

The minister did not give details. A similar claim was made about Wednesday “massive” attack.

In June this year, the Iran’s weapons systems came under a cyber-attack, US media reports suggested.

What was attacked in Iran?

Mr Jahromi made the announcement of the second attack this week on Twitter.

He said the Dejfa fortress had managed to thwart the attack which had used the “well-known APT27” – which experts have linked to Chinese-speaking hackers.

Without giving further details, the minister said servers and hackers had been “tracked”.

Last Wednesday, Mr Jahromi told Iran’s official Irna news agency that a “massive” cyber-attack had targeted Iran’s electronic infrastructure.

A day earlier, the minister had dismissed reports that millions of Iranian bank accounts had been hacked.

Why did the US attack Iran in June?

According to the Washington Post newspaper, the US attack in June – as President Trump pulled out of air strikes on the country – disabled computer systems controlling rocket and missile launchers.

It was in retaliation for the shooting down of a US drone as well as attacks on oil tankers that the US has blamed Iran for, the New York Times said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The attack targeted rocket and missile systems operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

The US is set to impose further sanctions on Iran that President Trump has described as “major”.

He said the sanctions were needed to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and economic pressure would be maintained unless Tehran changed course.

Tensions between the US and Iran have risen since the US last year pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reinstated sanctions, triggering economic meltdown in Iran.

US officials have also accused “Iranian regime actors and their proxies” of “malicious cyber-activity” directed at US industries and government agencies.


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