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Iran thwarts cyberattacks on oil platforms

Iran claimed it successfully blocked cyberattacks aimed at the computer network controlling its offshore drilling platforms.

Iran cyberattacks oil platform october 8 2012Enlarge
Iran claimed it successfully blocked cyberattacks aimed at the computer network controlling its offshore drilling platforms on October 8, 2012. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran claimed on Monday that it successfully blocked cyberattacks aimed at the computer network controlling its offshore drilling platforms.

A report from the semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Mohammad Reza Golshani, the IT head of Iran's state offshore oil company, blaming Israel for the attack, according to the Associated Press.

"This attack was planned by the regime occupying Jerusalem (Israel) and a few other countries," Golshani said, according to Reuters.

"Currently telephone operations on the platforms and in the areas of Iran's oil and gas operations in the Persian Gulf are normal and have no problems," he added, saying that Iranian experts were able to block the attack.

The AP noted that in May, Iran shut down some of its oil facilities due to another cyberattack.

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The Atlantic noted that Iran's nuclear program has already been the target of malicious computer viruses several times. Perhaps as a countermeasure, Iran is working on building its own private internet. Reuters reported that many Iranians say the plan would also let the government control their access to the web, which is already highly censored.

Iran's oil industry is already under threat from sanctions placed on the country to put pressure on Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions. Economic sanctions and financial restrictions have made exporting oil much harder, causing turmoil in the Iranian economy and its currency, the rial.

The AP noted that 80 percent of Iran's foreign revenue comes from the export of crude.

Israel has remained silent on the cyberattacks, but has threatened military action if Iran does not give up its nuclear program.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/121008/iran-thwarts-cyberattacks-oil-platforms