Iran's civil defense chief on Saturday accused Israel and the United States of being the likely culprits behind a cyberattack which disrupted gasoline sales across the Islamic Republic this week.
"We are still unable to say forensically, but analytically I believe it was carried out by the Zionist Regime, the Americans and their agents," Gholamreza Jalali, head of civil defense which is in charge of cyber security, said, according to Reuters.
Iran felt disruptions in fuel distribution across the country this past Tuesday, as cars lined up outside of gas stations throughout the country, waiting to fuel up as an outage in a government fuel management system interfered with serve at stations.
AP reported that Iranian motorists were lined up outside of gas stations after the government fuel subsidy system used by most Iranians to purchase gas suffered a major outage, creating massive delays and, in many cases, leading to total closures at the pumps.
According to the ISNA news agency, motorists attempting to use the government fuel subsidy cards were flashed a message indicating the subsidy system had been taken down as part of a cyberattack.
In July, a cyberattack targeted Iran’s railroad system, causing widespread chaos with hundreds of trains delayed or canceled.
While initially many fingers were pointed at Israel, an investigation by Israeli-American cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies concluded that a mysterious group opposed to the Iranian government was most likely behind the attack.
Iran has been hit by several cyber attacks in recent years. Last October, Iranian officials confirmed the country’s Port Authority had been hit in a cyberattack, which was attributed to “sworn enemies” who “failed to achieve their goals” of hitting Iran’s economy through sanctions.
In December of 2019, Iran’s telecommunications minister said the country had defused a cyberattack which was “aimed at spying on government intelligence”.
Previously, it was reported that the US had launched a secret cyberattack against Iran. The attack reportedly wiped out a critical database used by Iran’s paramilitary arm to plot attacks against oil tankers and degraded Tehran’s ability to covertly target shipping traffic in the Persian Gulf.