The head of Iran Civil Defense has accused Washington of the latest large-scale cyber-attack that targeted Iranian infrastructure. The coordinated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack affected two mobile operators and partially shut down Iran’s internet for hours. Iranian officials said they stopped the DDoS attack after activating Iran’s digital fortress DZHAFA shield. He added that the frequent cyber-attacks had become Washington’s only option after its failure to respond to Iran’s shooting down of United States’ unmanned aerial vehicle and Iranian missile attacks on Iraq’s Ain al-Assad US military base.
The DDoS attack timeline
The DDoS attack began in Iran from 11:45 local time or 08:15 UTC. There was a noted fall in Iran’s internet connectivity affecting both fixed mobile and fixed line operators. According to the internet freedom observatory group NetBlocks, real time network data show national connectivity fell to 75% during this time after authorities reportedly activated Iran’s digital fortress to repel the DDoS attack. Partial recovery took place as Iran’s Telecommunication Infrastructure Company and Iran’s internet sole supplier company spokesman, Sadjad Bonabi, tweeted that the distributed denial of service attack had been neutralized.
Effects on Iran’s Internet
The massive DDoS attack effects left the country’s major network operators out of operation between one and seven hours. Iran’s internet remained shut momentarily as the government tried to fend off the denial of service attack through isolation mechanism. According to the country’s civil defense organization head Brig. Gen. Gholam-Reza Jalali, the DDoS attack did not destroy any of the country’s infrastructure. However, his claims of Washington’s involvement contradict those of the country’s telecommunication infrastructure company spokesman who said that no state sponsorship had been detected. Bonabi uttered those remarks while speaking to the Financial Tribune.
Although this attack did not target any specific infrastructure, previous attacks have had devastating effects on the country’s activities. According to some experts, a cyber-attack on the country may have led to the delay in launching the country’s Zafar observation satellite. Iran’s nuclear enrichment sites also suffered from a Stuxnet virus attack in 2010 halting uranium enrichment and destroying a part of the facility. The cyber defense experts in the country also believe that the attack was the result of Washington testing the effectiveness of such a largescale attack on Iran’s internet.
Similar attacks reported
Cyberattacks have become common with various countries carrying out various forms of cyber-attacks against one another.
The DDoS attack against Iran’s Internet follows similar attacks that have taken place recently both inside and outside the country. Iran had earlier come under another attack from the United States targeting its rocket and missile launching systems. Recently, an Israeli cybersecurity group indicated the Palestinian Authority in Gaza had come under a cyber attack by a Hamas affiliated militant group. The government in Tehran also shut down Iran’s internet for most users except government agencies during the mass protests that started last year.