Hacking Causes ‘Chaos’ on Iranian Trains, Releases Supreme Leader Complaints Issue
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian rail system was the subject of a cyberattack on Friday, a semi-official news agency reported, with hackers posting false messages about suspected train delays or cancellations on traffic signs. display in stations across the country.
The hackers behind the strike were apparently trying to be funny, and with messages saying “long delay due to cyberattack” or “canceled,” they urged passengers to call for information, saying the phone number for the office of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that the hack had led to “unprecedented chaos” at train stations.
No group has so far taken responsibility for the incident. Earlier today, Fars said trains across Iran have lost their electronic tracking systems. It was not immediately clear if this was also part of the cyber attack.
Fars then withdrew his report and instead quoted National Railways spokesman Sadegh Sekri as saying that “the disruption” has not caused any problems for rail services.
In 2019, an error in the railway company’s computer servers caused multiple delays in train services.
In December of the same year, Iran’s telecommunications ministry said the country had defused a massive cyber attack on unspecified “electronic infrastructure”, but provided no details about the alleged attack.
A phone number – 64411 – was posted on station signs today in # Iran in the midst of the reported cyberattack on the rail system. He asked commuters to call for more information. It matched the number to # Iranfrom the office of the Supreme Leader which is posted on its website. pic.twitter.com/IQQ85I6QhJ
– Iranian international English (@IranIntl_En) July 9, 2021
It was not clear whether the reported attack caused damage or disruption to Iran’s computer systems and internet, and whether this was the latest chapter in US and Iran cyber operations. aiming at each other.
Iran disconnected much of its infrastructure from the Internet after the Stuxnet computer virus – widely regarded as a joint US-Israel creation – disrupted thousands of Iranian centrifuges at nuclear sites across the country in the late 2000s .
However, attacks attributed to Israel have more frequently targeted Iran’s nuclear program, such as Stuxnet or the recent explosions at the Natanz nuclear site.
Friday’s cyberattack follows a number of mysterious explosions, fires and incidents that have plagued the country in recent months.
On Monday, an explosion at a state warehouse outside Tehran sparked a major fire at the site. Tehran has yet to provide details on the location and cause of the explosion.
Last month, a massive fire broke out at the state-owned Tondgooyan Petrochemical Co. oil refinery, which serves Tehran. An explosion reportedly affected a liquefied petroleum gas pipeline at the facility. No further information was provided then either.
While many of them have been blamed on foreigners, much of it is the result of Iran’s failing infrastructure, which has been hit hard by years of mismanagement and made worse by sanctions.
However, numerous explosions have also been reported in recent years in complexes vital to Iran’s nuclear program and its energy and military sectors.
The most recent such incident was a drone attack last month that allegedly damaged an Iranian nuclear facility in Karaj, which was reportedly used to assemble centrifuges for uranium enrichment.