Iran Official Blames US, Israel for the Cyberattack on Fuel Distribution System

Israel and the United States are to blame for the large-scale 26 October hack attack which crippled Iran’s fuel distribution system, the head of Civil Defense Organization of Iran, Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali Gholam, has alleged as quoted by Tasnim News.

Stressing that the investigation is still ongoing, he said that analytically he believes the attack ‘was carried out by the Zionist regime, the Americans and their agents’, suggesting that “internal factors” may have also been involved.

According to Jalali, the attack targeted the Iran’s gas station systems’ software acting as a bridge between an operating system and the application – or middleware – making it difficult to defend against since only an attack in the hardware layer requires infiltration.

Jalali also informed that 60% of the stations resumed work 12 hours after the hack.

The cyberattack had forced some 4,300 stations’ electronic systems of gas stations across Iran going offline, and disabled the government-issued smart cards many drivers use to buy fuel at subsidized prices.

The hack was confirmed on Wednesday by the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who stressed that hackers wanted to enrage people ‘by creating disorder and disruption” which has proved true since the outages sparked anger from motorists and long fuel lines snaking around pumps while fuel was sold for cash at significant markup.

Comparing the recent cyber intrusion to last year’s attack on the Shahid Rajaee terminal near Bandar Abbas, on the coast of the Strait of Hormuz, and to the July’s hacking of the country’s rail service, Jalali noted that they’re still unable to confirm that forensically.

Amid heightened tensions with Washington and Tel Aviv, Iran has seen since the beginning of last year a wave of explosions, fires, and cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.

Iran regularly accuses the US and Israel of carrying out various subversive activities on Iranian soil, claims that US and Israeli officials either deny or do not comment on.

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