A wide ranging cyberattack struck Iran on Tuesday, closing all gas stations across the country, while also shutting down a government system managing fuel subsidies, causing widespread disruption leaving angry motorists stranded in long lines.
Several Iranian agencies published video clips showing electronic banners in some cities around the country subjected to a cyber-attack, showcasing both inappropriate and anti-regime statements.
Farsi-language satellite channels published videos shot by drivers in Isfahan, a major Iranian city south of the capital Tehran, showing electronic billboards reading: “Khamenei! Where is our gas?” while another wrote: “Free gas in Jamaran gas station,” a reference to the home of the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility of the attack, though the Islamic Republic has previously witnessed many cyberattacks that seemed to directly challenge Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the country’s economy collapses under American sanctions.
As such, the Iranian Supreme National Security Council supported the claim of a cyberattack on the country, while Iran State TV said the Oil Ministry officials were holding an “emergency meeting” to solve the technical problem.
Also, semi-official ISNA news agency, which uncovered the hack, said it saw those trying to buy fuel with a government-issued ration card through machines instead of received a message reading “cyberattack 64411.”
That number is associated to a hotline run through Khamenei’s office that handles questions about Islamic law. ISNA later removed its reports, claiming that it too had been hacked.
The use of the number “64411” mirrored an attack in July targeting Iran’s railroad system that also saw the number displayed.