Cyberattack targets over 100 Iranian e-government websites

More than 100 state-owned and private Iranian websites have been the target of a cyberattack and data from their systems has been stolen, the government confirmed on Sunday.

Claiming responsibility for the attack, the hacking group “Uprising till Overthrow” sent photos and videos to Iran International showing that around 50 domains of the Ministry of Agriculture and its affiliated offices were hacked.

A deputy director for security at Iran’s information center, Meysam Maghsoudi Goudarzi, said late Sunday that a security flaw in software frequently used by government organizations made the large-scale cyberattack possible.

He said the attack was “neutralized” in its early stages, noting that “the hackers obtained information from websites but did not obtain basic information from these government centers”.

Maghsoudi Goudarzi also asserted that no damage was caused to the organisations’ infrastructures, adding that “this cyberattack was designed as a ‘ticking time bomb’ to attack more than 100 [online] services of the country at a certain time and date to disrupt their activities”.

He said the IP addresses used for the cyberattack belonged to the Netherlands, Britain and the United States, and full legal action would be taken in the future.

In mid-March, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance (Ershad) portal and its affiliated websites were hit by a cyberattack.

The hackers posted on the website photos leaders of the opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), Maryam and Masoud Rajavi, as well as a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with a large red X drawn on his face.