Iran has resolutely denied that fires breaking out across the country in recent days are the result of cyberattacks, while admitting that foreign states and groups have been relentlessly testing the nation’s cyber defenses.
In recent weeks, Iran suffered scores of fires and malfunctions on its refineries, gas plants, nuclear plant, power stations, sea port as well as forest fires.
But a spokesman for the foreign ministry Sayed Abbas Mousavi told reporters that “recent fires have nothing to do with cyberattacks.”
Mousavi also downplayed the scale of the incidents. In the summertime they are “neither peculiar nor something happening this year alone,” he stressed. But he admitted that cyberattacks did take place and were “not anything new.”
According to the official, thousands of hacker attacks are carried out against the country’s infrastructure every day.
“Most of those attacks are repulsed by our defense systems and the cyber incident response teams without making any impact,” he said.
Admitting that cyberattacks have been attempted “on a daily basis,” Mousavi said Tehran sees the US as the primary suspect for any cyberattack against Iran by default, unless proven otherwise. That presumption is “very natural,” he noted.
The spokesman said that the governments “sponsoring and directing” the attacks and the groups “aiding and abetting” them “have been identified,” but he stopped short of calling any of them by name.
Earlier this week, an Iranian lawmaker said that a blast and fire at the Natanz nuclear site on July 2 were caused by internal reasons but did not elaborate.
Javad Karimi Qoddousi, who is a member of the National Security Committee, denied any possibility that the incident was a result of an external interference such as a missile attack or airstrike.
In June, a hackers group calling itself Cheetahs of the Homeland claimed responsibility for the alleged cyberattack against Iranian sites. The group said it was composed of dissidents within Iran’s military and security forces.