Iran says it has successfully thwarted a wave of cyber attacks apparently staged by Israel to target the country’s communications infrastructure, saying it will certainly follow up on the “hostile” scheme via international mechanisms.
Hamid Fatahi, CEO of Iran’s Telecommunications Company, took to Twitter on Monday to report an attempt by “an occupying regime” to launch “sporadic” cyber assaults against the Islamic Republic’s communications infrastructure, in reference to the regime in Tel Aviv.
All the attacks, he added, “were firmly foiled.”
“They showed to the Int’l community that their accusation against Iran for #CyberAttacks was just a ridiculous delusion. Remember Stuxnet,” Fatahi added in a consecutive tweet, saying defeating the attackers had been such an easy feat for Iranian experts.
Shortly afterwards, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi re-posted Fatahi’s tweet and said, “The regime – with a notorious background in using cyber weapons in cases such as Stuxnet – was this time attempting to harm Iran’s communications infrastructure.”
“[But] they had to go away empty-handed thanks to the vigilance of our technical teams,” said the minister. “We will pursue this hostile move through international tribunals.”
Israel is widely believed to be behind a cyber attack on the Iranian nuclear energy program that took place in 2011.
The Washington Post reported in June 2012 that US spy services and Israel’s military had worked together to launch the Stuxnet computer virus against a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran.
It was the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery.
The 2011 Stuxnet cyber attack targeting the Iranian nuclear energy program worked against its intended objectives, says Iran’s nuclear chief.
Since Stuxnet’s discovery in 2010, security researchers have uncovered a handful of other sophisticated pieces of computer code they believe were developed by the US and Israel to help them engage in espionage and warfare.
The tweeter announcements came days after Head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali announced that the country had recently neutralized a new version of Stuxnet, ISNA reported.
“Recently we discovered a new generation of Stuxnet, which consisted of several parts … and was trying to enter our systems,” Jalali was quoted by ISNA as saying.
The latest virtual acts of aggression against Iran coincide with the re-imposition of a new wave of US sanctions mainly targeting Iran’s energy sector, months after Washington defied the world community and scrapped a multinational nuclear deal with Tehran– against which Israel has been lobbying intensely.
Back in June, the ex-chief of an Israeli spy service called Unit 8200, Ehud Schnerosen, had said that the first cyber target in any future conflict with Iran should be its energy infrastructure.