The computer network of the Iranian oil ministry came under attack by hackers and a computer virus prompted the Islamic Republic to disconnect the country’s main oil export terminal from the Internet.
The cyberattack took place on Sunday, April 22nd, and it affected some data but the ministry had backed it up, saying that oil operations were otherwise unaffected. The Kharg Island oil terminal Headquarters and other facilities were all taken offline. It is worth mentioning that about 80% of Iran’s daily 2.2 million barrels of crude export goes through the Kharg facility.
Iran declared that its nuclear and industrial sectors are periodically attacked by hackers, but little damage is caused. In 2010, Iran reported that a nuclear plant had been targeted by the Stuxnet virus, denying reports that uranium centrifuge operations had been disrupted. In April 2011 Iran reported an infection dubbed ‘Stars’ and a spy virus with the name ‘Doku’. At the beginning of 2012 head of Iran’s civil defense agency Gholam Reza Jalali said the energy sector of the country has been a main target of cyberattacks over the past two years.
Recently Iran announced a series of cyberdefense measures spearheaded by the Revolutionary Guards, which already controls every key military program in Iran and many industries. Last month the Guard set up a hack-proof communications network for its high-level commanders.