Iran’s state media reported a cyber attack on Tuesday that disrupted the sale of heavily subsidised gasoline, causing long lines at fuel stations across the country amid celebrations for the anniversary of the 2019 fuel price hike protests.
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The Islamic Republic of Iran is on high alert for cyberattacks, which it has blamed in the past on the US and Israel. The US and other western powers have accused Iran of disrupting and breaking into their network.
“The disruption at the refueling system of gas stations… in the past few hours, was caused by a cyberattack,” state broadcaster IRIB said. “Technical experts are fixing the problem and soon the refueling process… will return to normal.”
Clients were still able to purchase fuel at a higher rate since only smart cards used for rationed petrol were disrupted, the oil ministry said.
As a result of the disruptions, the second anniversary of a fuel price increase in November 2019 has been ahead, which prompted widespread street protests that have left hundreds dead.
On social media, videos showed hacked street signs with messages such as, “Khamenei, where is our fuel?”, Referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iranian news agency Mehr confirmed that certain signs had been hacked but Reuters could not independently confirm the authenticity of the videos. As technicians rushed to activate manual settings after the online services were paralyzed, about one-tenth of fuel stations, were open or reopening.
Iran has been targeted by a series of cyberattacks, including one in July when the transport ministry website was taken down by what its state-run media called a “cyber disruption.” Reuters.
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