Hackers interrupted Internet access in various parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran yesterday after attacking a number of the country’s infrastructure and communications companies, a state official told the Reuters news agency.
“Yesterday we had a heavy attack against the country’s infrastructure and communications companies which has forced us to limit the Internet,” the secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, is sourced by Reuters as having told the Iranian Labour News Agency.
The official went on to claim that the Iranian Internet operates under the strain of constant, organized cyberattacks, targeting the country’s nuclear, oil, and information networks. Yesterday’s attacks overwhelmed Iran’s Internet infrastructure with several gigabytes of traffic, the official claimed, which in turn caused an abnormal slowing of Internet speeds in the country.
This incident is merely the latest in an increasingly long line of attacks targeting the Islamic Republic. It has long been speculated that western powers, the U.S. and Israel in particular, were responsible for many of the attacks that are widely believed to be a response to Iran’s controversial nuclear program. This latest attack isn’t likely to garner the sort of media attention that earlier, more sophisticated attacks like Flame and Stuxnet have, but nevertheless, the incident underlines the stark reality that geopolitically motivated cyberattacks are becoming an almost daily occurrence. Iran is not the only victim.
A group of hackers operating under the name Mrt. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters claimed they were retaliating against the now-infamous ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Youtube video when they took credit for an enormous wave of DDoS attacks against some of largest and well-known banking institutions in the world. Hackers also targeted Saudi Aramco, claiming that the al-Saud regime in Saudi Arabia uses its massive income from the oil conglomerate to oppress persons in countries around the world. Just today, reports are emerging that Google is warning many of its users that they may be targeted in an ongoing, state-sponsored attack campaign.