Iran Investigates Probable Internet-based Assault on Key Oil Depot

Industry sources have revealed that Iran's government has embarked upon an investigation into one cyber-assault that's suspected as targeting the country's key oil export depot the Kharg Island as well as its Ministry of Oil. Infosecurity-magazine.com reported this on April 23, 2012.

The suspected assault was because of one PC-virus, which came to be noticed within a Kharg Island computer system; however, the depot continued to work like before, an NIOC (National Iranian Oil Company) source said. Importantly, the oil depot on Kharg Island caters to approximately 90% of the total oil supply from Iran.

Mehr, an Iranian news agency reported that the same PC-virus blocked the Internet thereby disrupting the NIOC's and Ministry of Oil's communication facilities. It also affected the computers monitoring and regulating at several other oil terminals of Iran compelling to disconnect the systems from the Internet, the agency added.

Civil Defense Chief Hamdullah Mohammadnejad of the Ministry said that the Iranian officials, by establishing one crisis department, attempted at finding ways for defusing the assaults. Infosecueity-magazine.com published this dated April 23, 2012.

Nothing as of now can be said with certainty whether the mentioned PC-virus is designed to act similar to the Stuxnet computer malware and so purposely launched for destabilizing industrial processes while result in real physical destruction.

Chief Technology Officer Tom Parker at FusionX a security company states that the presently obtainable information indicates that it's too early for concluding that the assault was aimed at Iran alternatively the computers used for regulating the transportation of oil. Darkreading.com published this dated April 23, 2012.

But, according to Security Expert John Bumgarner of a United States based think tank called 'Cyber Consequences Unit,' the virus was created with a definitely deliberate intention for attacking the Iranian oil industry. Tgdaily.com published this dated April 23, 2012.

Bumgarner contended that installing one virus onto the computer network that deleted data was clearly done for causing those plants being forcibly closed down so Iran's oil production as well as refinery activities could be affected. He added that the PC-virus' coding determined the length of time it would continue the impact.

Related article: Iran makes Arrests After Stuxnet Attacks on Nuclear Facilities

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