The gas stations in Iran were the new victims of a cyberattack; this caused chaos among citizens because of the importance of refueling their cars. But it’s just another attack of the many this year where critical infrastructure in different countries has been compromised. Plus, Iran has faced several attacks during the year, some quite strange in their nature. Today’s article will explain all of this!

Read: Cybersecurity in Latin America: Strengths and weaknesses

This attack on gas stations in Iran has presented several weaknesses

Each country around the world has several critical infrastructures. The functioning of all the services depends on many processes and systems to offer their inhabitants the best. One of them is the access to refuel the cars every time they need it. However, the gas stations in Iran couldn’t do that a few days ago, creating chaos and fear across the country, especially after other cyberattacks that took place during the year. 

Ransomware groups have decided that this is the year to attack critical infrastructure, showing a huge weakness in many countries that don’t invest in cybersecurity. This attack hit an intranet-based system that lets motorists buy subsidized fuel with government-issued smart cards, causing long queues at petrol stations. The mind behind this also hijacked digital billboards on highways in the capital Tehran and elsewhere, making them display a message saying: “[Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, where is our fuel?”

These groups really enjoy creating chaos across the globe, and the best way to do it is to meddle with important services like gas stations. People need their cars to work or simply to fulfill their different activities during the day. Iran’s authorities haven’t revealed who could be the mastermind behind this attack. Following their normal political inclinations, they blame a foreing country, but a group called itself Predatory Sparrow claimed it carried out the hack. 

This group stated in a Telegram post that the hack was a “response to the cyber actions by Tehran’s terrorist regime against the people in the region and around the world”. It added that it had warned Iran’s emergency services personnel in advance and had chosen not to exploit a vulnerability that would have caused “very long-term damage”.

The attack is not the first one in Iran this year

Predatory Sparrow also claimed that they were the mastermind behind Iran’s rail network in July, which caused message boards at stations to incorrectly show trains as delayed or cancelled. This was one of the three cyberattacks that the country has faced in the year. The other one was a little strange, involving the surveillance system of a maximum-security prison. But, Iran is also a country where many big cyberattacks have originated and also several cyber espionage campaigns whose one of the objectives was Dropbox. This proved that sometimes the hunter can be hunted. 

The attack on the gas stations in Iran is just another nail on the coffin that shows how many countries are not ready to face cyberattacks on their major infrastructure. It is necessary to invest in top-notch cybersecurity systems. If an attack occurs, its consequences can be so terrible that it could take several years to undo the damage, such as the attack on the Irish health system. Keep in touch with our blog to read the latest news and innovations in the cybersecurity world. 

Gas stations in Iran
This is not the first cyberattack of the year.

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