Iran oil terminal suffers malware attack

Filed Under: Data loss, Featured, Malware

Creative Commons photo of an oil refineryThe BBC is reporting that websites belonging to the Iranian oil ministry and national oil company are offline after suffering a malware infection this weekend.

Iran has disconnected all of its oil processing facilities as a precaution, including the facility at Kharg Island which processes more than 90% of Iran's exports.

The semi-official news agency, Mehr, reported that information about users of the websites had been stolen, but no sensitive data had been accessed.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims to have created a "hack-proof" network for all sensitive data. I have yet to see a hack-proof network and if they have convinced themselves it's true, perhaps that is part of the problem.

Iran seems to be forthcoming about admitting hack attempts against the country as part of its ongoing propaganda campaign, yet nothing ever causes serious damage like Stuxnet.

One issue for the Iranians in effectively defending its networks may be the embargoes which prohibit most western companies from providing security solutions.

Sophos proactively detected the Stuxnet worm, yet despite its protestations Iran appears to have been penetrated by the malware.

One thing is clear, whether you are an oppressive regime, or simply an average small business, anyone who depends upon the internet will face malware threats and hacking attempts.

Defense is the best offense even if you aren't harboring a secret nuclear program, keeping your protection up to date and staying alert is a great start to staying safe.

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5 Responses to Iran oil terminal suffers malware attack

  1. Jason Harry · 851 days ago

    "ran's Revolutionary Guard claims to have created a "hack-proof" network for all sensitive data. I have yet to see a hack-proof network and if they have convinced themselves it's true, perhaps that is part of the problem." <<<<<< Love this! LOL

  2. I'm assuming that, by "hack-proof", they mean that the network isn't connected to the internet, nor any other network, and not connected to any radio type of device. Thank god we have MI6, CIA and Mossad. Hopefully they'll somehow gain physical access to the network.

  3. Evilelvis · 850 days ago

    They have a hackproof network because its made of Lego

  4. Nigel · 850 days ago

    "I have yet to see a hack-proof network..."

    Wow. I've never thought about that, but now that you mention it, I guess I can see how it could be true. If nothing else, as long as people are involved, there's always an intrinsic weakness that can be exploited; weak passwords, leaked passwords (whether deliberately or inadvertently), lapses in attentiveness, brute force attacks that luck out and crack an encryption algorithm in something much less than the total age of the universe (hey...it's possible).

    I guess as long as there are folks who accept the challenge of creating a hack-proof system, there will always be folks who accept the challenge of hacking it. But surely there must be SOME systems that are so well designed, so carefully administered, and so thoroughly monitored that they're "essentially" hack-proof...or no?

    • Richard · 849 days ago

      No matter how secure your network is, it will always have some type of software vulnerability that can be exploited.

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About the author

Chester Wisniewski is a Senior Security Advisor at Sophos Canada. He provides advice and insight into the latest threats for security and IT professionals with the goal of providing clear guidance on complex topics. You can follow Chester on Twitter as @chetwisniewski, on App.net as Chester, Chester Wisniewski on Google Plus or send him an email at chesterw@sophos.com.