Iran Fortifying Cyber Defenses
EghtesadOnline: By deploying a homegrown firewall, Iran is fully prepared to fend off Stuxnet-like cyberattacks, says ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi.
In an Instagram post, Jahromi wrote on Thursday, “Backed by Iran IT Organization, young academicians have developed a firewall that can protect the country’s industrial infrastructure against cyberattacks like Stuxnet.”
The minister noted that the cybersecurity tool can be employed for protecting the country’s key infrastructure, such as the power distribution network.
“The firewall has been successfully tested. After securing the approval of the High Council of Cyberspace, the firewall will be deployed to protect Iran’s key industrial infrastructure,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
More information about the cybersecurity tool is to be released on Sunday.
First detected in 2010, Stuxnet is believed to be the joint work of the US and Israel, a claim that whistleblower Edward Snowden backed up in a 2013 interview but which has never been acknowledged by either government.
Designed to target industrial control systems used in infrastructure facilities, Stuxnet modifies data on controller software affecting their automated processes.
Officials, who spoke under anonymity to the Washington Post, said in 2012 that the worm, developed under George Bush's administration and continued under Barack Obama's, was designed to damage Iran's nuclear capabilities.
The worm was used in 2011 to target the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
In late 2015, Iran's then-foreign ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi-Ansari, called the attacks that came in 2011 “illegal”, saying Tehran had never responded with “reciprocal cyberattacks”.
Last Major Attack
In November 2018, Iranian government officials reported that the country has successfully thwarted a wave of cyberattacks apparently staged by Israel to target Iran’s communications infrastructure, saying it will follow up on the “hostile” scheme via international mechanisms.
Hamid Fattahi, chairman of the board of directors of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Company, took to Twitter at the time to report an attempt by “an occupying regime” to launch “sporadic” cyberattacks against Iran’s communications infrastructure, a clear reference to the Israeli regime.
All the attacks, he added, “were firmly foiled”.
Shortly afterwards, Jahromi reposted Fattahi’s tweet and said, “The regime—with a notorious background in using cyber weapons in cases such as Stuxnet—was this time attempting to harm Iran’s communications infrastructure.”
“[But] they had to go away empty-handed, thanks to the vigilance of our technical teams. We will pursue this hostile move through international tribunals," the minister declared.