Iran foiled a significant cyber-attack against the country’s “electronic infrastructure,” according to Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi.
The minister shared few details about the incident, which took place during Iran’s current Internet blackout that allows most people to access only websites hosted inside the borders.
The attacks follow the government crackdown on widespread protests in Tehran, which were used as a pretext to impose blackout in the first place. The attacker would have needed access to the network, despite the blackout.
Moreover, the incident comes only three days after details for 15 million debit cards, covering one-fifth of the entire Iranian population, were published online. It’s unclear whether that hack and the current incident are related. A New York Times report linked the bank hack to the US or Israeli agencies.
A message posted on Telegram said, “we will burn the reputation of their banks the same way we torched their banks,” in reference to the protest in which numerous bank branches were torched. The Iranian authorities say that no hackers were involved in the breach and that it was the work of a disgruntled employee.
Iran is often suspected of sponsoring state-backed cyberattacks, with the group APT 33 believed to be involved directly with the government. If the minister’s statements are true, Iran is now on the receiving end.