04 Oct 2012

Internet Access in Iran Disrupted Amid Cyber Attacks


Cyber attackers targeting Iran’s infrastructure and communications companies have disrupted internet access, according to media reports.

"We had a heavy attack against the country's infrastructure and communications companies, which has forced us to limit the Internet," Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, said, as quoted by the Iranian Labour News Agency. "We have constant cyber attacks in the country. Yesterday an attack with a traffic of several gigabytes hit the Internet infrastructure, which caused an unwanted slowness in the country's Internet."

The official also argued all of the attacks have been organized, and targeted at the country's nuclear, oil, and information networks.

This is not the first time Iran has allegedly detected a massive cyber-attack. In June, Iranian Police said they had traced several attacks on the Oil Ministry’s servers back to the US, and expected American authorities to disclose the hackers’ identities.

Iran is keeping a close eye on cyber security since its uranium enrichment facilities were infected in 2010 by the Stuxnet computer worm. While Western states suspect Iran is using uranium plants to develop nuclear weapons, the country’s officials argue they only invest in civilian energy. Recently, authorities confirmed rumors they plan to develop their own Internet infrastructure to get away from the “control over the Internet” that is “in the hands of one or two countries.”

Iran has already implemented one of the world's largest Internet filters, blocking access to thousands of allegedly immoral or anti-government websites. Many restrictions started after the 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when a series of protests flooded the Internet, including Facebook and YouTube.