Recent days have seen several reports of cyberattacks in Iran, including possible hacking of the computer network for the country’s dams.
The newspaper of the state broadcaster quoted “an informed source” saying a cyber intrusion had disrupted the monitoring of water levels and general conditions in dams over the past two weeks.
The source said that employees exchanging data about dams had lost Internet-based communication, including applications like WhatsApp. The source dismissed denials issued by information network officials.
A security official at Iran’s ministry of energy also denied the claim, telling the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) that authorities had restricted certain employees’ access to the information system.
Iran has been the target of many cyberattacks and other sabotage since mid-2020, frequently attributed to Israel. Nuclear, military and industrial targets have all been hit with disruption, including explosions and fires.
In October motorists faced disruption at gas stations across the country when the payment system for cheaper, rationed gasoline broke down. It took nearly a week to fully restore the service. Iran’s railroad network was hacked in July, apparently as part of a wider strategy to target infrastructure.
Some cyberattacks have been claimed by unknown dissident groups, including the hacking and release in July of troves of security-camera footage and documents from Tehran’s Evin prison, including guards beating prisoners and confidential letters from and to the prison. The chief of Iran’s prisons was replaced in November, in a decision at least partly related to the hacking.
On Wednesday, the website of Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, Friday prayer leader in Mashhad and father-in-law of President Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi), was hacked, according to the cleric’s communications chief. Alamolhoda is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in Khorasan-Razavi, one of Iran’s largest and most important provinces.
Shargh newspaper in Tehran reported that the websites of the Assembly of Experts, a constitutional body tasked with choosing the Supreme Leader, was disrupted Wednesday by a cyberattack. The reformist newspaper also reported that the website of Tehran province courts had been disrupted, although it was not clear this was due to a cyberattack.