Posted on July 11, 2021 at 12:14 PM
Threat actors have yet again compromised the security of the Iranian Transportation Ministry. The industry’s website was taken out of operation as reported by media sources in the country, such as IRNA, the official news website in the country.
The Iranian state television also issued a report on the matter where it stated that the events that happened because of the hack were a ‘cyber disruption.’ The attack came barely a day after yet another hacking attack on the state’s railway company.
Matter under Investigation
The hacking attack was targeted at the country’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development. Because of the hack, the portals and sub portals of the ministry were momentarily halted, as reported by TV channels in Iran.
The motive of the threat actors behind the attack has not been established. However, Iranian authorities are investigating the matter. It is not the first time that the websites belonging to the Iranian government have been hacked.
Similar Attack on Train Services
The attack on the transport ministry site is not the first that the Iranian government has suffered from. On Friday, train services in the country were also disrupted in a similar attack. The impact of this attack was much larger than the one on the ministry’s sites.
The threat actors who were behind the attack published the personal phone number of the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, as the number that Iranians were supposed to call for any enquiries about what was happening.
In addition, the cyberattacks led to a delay and a cancellation in train services. On Friday, train ticket services and cargo operations were disrupted because of the attack, causing significant disruption in the transportation sector.
The hackers were using sophisticated software that was causing delays. According to sources in the country, delay notices were published on train station boards, but in essence, the delay notices were fake. Due to this development, the state railway company stated that the hackers only gained access to the station boards, but the trains were operating as usual.
The Telecommunications Minister in Iran, Mohammad Javas Azari-Jahromi, warned citizens on Saturday to remain vigilant and not fall to ransomware attacks that were now becoming a real threat. The only way these vulnerabilities would be dealt with was if there was an improvement on computer systems that exposed and dealt with all vulnerabilities.
Sadegh Sekri, a representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, spoke to ISNA News, refuting that the country’s train and railway services had been hacked. According to Sekri, “there has been no disruption or cyber-attack for passenger, cargo or intercity trains.”
This announcement was in contrast to other reports of disruptions, which attached images of the train station’s departure and arrival schedules, which also showed details of train trips that were cancelled, along with a message that read, “long delays due to cyber-attacks.”
Towards the end of 2020, Iran also posted a notice stating that hackers had launched a large-scale attack on two leading government institutions. However, the government did not provide details as to whom the threat actors were targeting in the supposed attacks.
Because of the ongoing attacks, Iran remains highly vigilant to detect any attacks and when they happen. The country has suffered from similar attacks in the past, and most of the time, the United States and Israel have been blamed for the developments. On the other hand, Iran has also been blamed by the United States for hacking attempts into their networks.
Iran has also been in recent years been under rampant cyberattacks that have threatened different ministries. However, some of these attacks have also been revealed to be state-sponsored, with some of the sectors that have been disrupted, including the country’s nuclear fuel production services.
The wave of two attacks in a day has now put government agencies on alert to ensure there is a reduced risk of another agency suffering the same fate as the Ministry of Transport and the railway agency.