Iranian officials announced on sunday that hackers damaged a small number of systems at the port of Shahid Rajaei in the city of Bandar Abbas.

Bandar Abbas is the capital of Hormozgān Province on the southern coast of Iran, on the Persian Gulf. The city occupies a strategic position on the narrow Strait of Hormuz, and it is the location of the main base of the Iranian Navy. Bandar Abbas is also the capital and largest city of Bandar Abbas County.

Iran

Iranian officials did not reveal details of the cyber attack that took place last week.

Local authorities, including the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) in the state of Hormozgan, confirmed that operations at the port were impacted by the cyber attack.

Initially, officials denied the cyber-attack, but due to media pressure that later admitted the cyber intrusion.

Speaking to ILNA news agency, the Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organization revealed that the cyber-attack failed to penetrate the Ports and Maritime Organization’s systems (PMO). The Managing Director explained that the attackers were able to compromise only a limited number of computers at the ports.

“The organization is well protected, but still needs to continuously strengthen and update the layers of protection to minimize the risk of a cyber-attack,” he added.

The authorities did not attribute the attack to a specific threat actor, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development stated that he did not have any information about the origin of the attack.

“Currently, the distribution of cargo in northern ports is good; although the performance of all southern ports is negative.” Mohammad Rastad.

In the same hours an apparently unrelated incident took place in the same area, The Iranian support ship Konarak was hit by a new anti-ship missile being tested by the frigate Jamaran during an exercise on Sunday.

The Konarak had been putting targets out in the water and remained too close to one, according to the reports. Nineteen sailors have been killed and 15 others injured in the incident.

Local media speculated that the two incidents could have been linked, for this reason, Iranian authorities decided to disclose the cyber attacks and officially explain that the two incidents were not related.

In December 2020, the New York Times revealed that the US carried out a cyberattack in June on a database used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to plot attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

The attack took place on June 20, 2020, the US hackers had interfered with the cyber capabilities of Iran’s paramilitary arm to target the shipping in the Gulf. The database was used by Iran Guards to choose the tankers to target.

In December 2019, Iran foiled two massive cyber-attacks in less than a week, the country’s telecommunications minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi revealed.

The news was reported by both the ISNA and Mehr news agencies, the Iranian minister defined the attacks as “really massive” and attributed them to a nation-state actor.

Pierluigi Paganini