Iranian Gas Stations Unable to Operate After Massive Cyberattack
The Cyberattack Affected the Entire Distribution Network.
The National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) was founded in 1928 and has been in charge of the supply and distribution of oil products for almost 80 years.
The NIOPDC is in charge of managing and overseeing the daily distribution of more than 240 million liters of petroleum products across the nation, with approximately 8700 official workers and about 10,000 unofficial staff, as well as buildings and equipment.
A cyberattack damaged the whole distribution network making all the gas stations operated by the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) cease operations.
As a result of the event, a number of electronic road billboards have been hacked to display messages demanding an explanation or requesting gasoline.
The reason for the disturbance is still being investigated, and while there is no public evidence regarding who caused it at this time, Iran is accusing a foreign country.
The message that was shown on the devices saying “cyberattack 64411” could be a hint.
As gas stations around #Iran are out of service today, a photo is circulating showing one station with a message on a small monitor saying “cyber attack 64411.” 64411 is the phone number for the Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader. pic.twitter.com/rlrVLHjt76
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) October 26, 2021
The letter alludes to a hack that crippled Iran’s rail operations in July.
Back then the attackers also changed the railway message boards to imply that hackers were responsible for train delays or cancellations, as well as displaying the phone number for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office.
Following today’s incident, numerous Iranians were left without petrol after waiting for hours for gas stations to open.
Customers who sought to obtain discounted fuel at 5 cents a liter or 20 cents a gallon using government-issued cards received the “cyberattack 64411” warning, according to media sources.
As word of the attack on the NIOPDC distribution network spread, digital billboards across Iran began to display slogans saying “Khamenei!” “Where is our gas?” and “Free gas at the Jamaran station.”
As reported by BleepingComputer, the BBC journalists Shayan Sardarizadeh and Kian Sharifi disclosed the fact that the Iranian state television confirmed the reports of a cyberattack hitting gas stations.
مرکز ملی فضای مجازی با انتشار بیانیهای حمله به سامانه هوشمند سوخت کشور را تایید کرد. https://t.co/JzZa8UAXQU
— ITIRAN | آی تی ایران (@itiransite) October 26, 2021
Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace seems to believe that the incident is state-sponsored.
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) October 26, 2021