Cyberattack Disrupts Gas Stations Across Iran,
October 26, 2021
Gas stations across Iran experienced widespread
disruptions on a government system managing fuel
subsidies, in what state television said was a
State TV quoted an official with Iran's National
Security Council confirming the October 26
attack on the gasoline-distribution computer
system amid reports of long lines at stations,
many of which were closed.
Earlier, state media IRNA cited an Interior
Ministry spokesman as saying the incident was
caused by a “technical problem” in the
subsidized fuel card system as authorities
sought to deny there as a cyberattack.
The semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted the
president of the country’s gas station owners’
association as saying there was a cyberattack,
but the news was later deleted and replaced with
comments about a software problem.
Meanwhile, Oil Ministry officials were holding
an “emergency meeting” to solve the problem,
describing the outage as temporary.
Social media videos showed electronic street
billboards in some cities, including Tehran,
displaying messages directed at Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei: "Khamenei, where's our fuel?”
said those trying to buy fuel with a
government-issued card through the machines
instead received a message reading “cyberattack
64411.” The news was later deleted but social
media users reported similar messages.
That number is the hotline operated by the
office of the supreme leader that handles
questions about Islamic law.
The incident comes as Iran marks the anniversary
of November 2019 protests, which were sparked by
an increase in the price of subsidized gas but
quickly expanded into nationwide anti-government
Security forces responded to the protests with a
violent crackdown, with Amnesty International
identifying at least 304 killed. Mojtaba Zonoor,
the head of Iran’s parliamentary national
security committee, said 230 were killed.
Unconfirmed reports put the number of protesters
killed at up to 1,500.