Iran’s petrol stations paralyzed by sweeping cyber attack, Israeli media reports.

December 18, 2023
1 min read

A hacker organisation linked to Israel, Predatory Sparrow, has claimed responsibility for a cyber attack disrupting petrol station services across Iran, according to Iranian state TV and Israeli local media. The cyber attack reportedly affected around 70% of Iran’s petrol stations, with the interruptions disrupting fuel sales and causing long queues. The incident is the first of its kind since a major cyber attack in 2021 which Iran alleges was orchestrated by the United States and Israel. The disruption prompted many petrol stations to operate manually, especially in Tehran.

Primary Key Points:

  • Israeli-linked hacker group ‘Predatory Sparrow’ claimed responsibility for disrupting petrol station services in Iran.
  • The cyber attack impacted approximately 70% of petrol stations in Iran and disrupted fuel sales.
  • The incident is similar to a cyber attack on Iranian petrol stations in 2021, which Iran suggests was perpetrated by Israel and the United States.

Iran’s civil defence agency, responsible for the country’s cybersecurity, is still investigating all potential causes for the disruptions. Iranian media has reported on similar attacks by Predatory Sparrow against petrol stations, rail networks, and steel factories in the past. Amidst the recent chaos, stations tried to manually service fuel with the process predicted to take at least six to seven hours.

The Cyber Unit of Israel noted that Iran and Hezbollah allegedly attempted a cyber attack on a hospital in northern Israel three weeks prior to this incident. The attack reportedly managed to access sensitive information despite being thwarted. However, Israel has yet to provide a public comment about the recent cyber attack on Iran.

While Iran’s oil ministry reassured the public that the interruption was not related to fuel price hikes, they encouraged drivers not to go to petrol stations. A spokesperson for Iran’s petrol stations association indicated that a software issue was behind the disruption, though the issue is reportedly being addressed.

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