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Iran reports cyber attack on oil terminal and ministry

25 April 2012

Iran is investigating a suspected cyber attack on its main oil export terminal and on the Oil Ministry itself, Iranian industry sources said on April 23. A virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island - which handles the vast majority of Iran's crude oil exports - but the terminal remained operational, a source at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said.

Iranian authorities say operations are continuing at its main oil terminal at Kharg Island, despite the virus
Iranian authorities say operations are continuing at its main oil terminal at Kharg Island, despite the virus

It hit the internet and communications systems of Iran's Oil Ministry and of its national oil company, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. Computer systems controlling a number of Iran's other oil facilities have been disconnected from the Internet as a precaution, the agency added.

Hamdullah Mohammadnejad, the head of civil defense at the oil ministry, was reported as saying Iranian authorities had set up a crisis unit and were working out how to neutralise the attacks.

The authorities said there had been no disruption to production or exports, Mehr news reported, but a shipping source with knowledge of operations at Kharg Island said that the NIOC has been prevented from sending out the crude-loading program at the terminal.

The virus is likely to draw comparisons with the Stuxnet computer worm, which shut down some Iranian nuclear facilities in 2009-10.




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