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Iran's Oil Industry Hit By Cyber Attacks 115

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the causing-industrial-accidents-for-fun-and-profit dept.
wiredmikey writes "Iran disconnected computer systems at a number of its oil facilities in response to a cyber attack that hit multiple industry targets during the weekend. A source at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) reportedly told Reuters that a virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island oil terminal, which handles the majority of Iran's crude oil exports. In addition, computer systems at Iran's Oil Ministry and its national oil company were hit. There has been no word on the details of the malware found, but computer systems controlling several of Iran's oil facilities were disconnected from the Internet as a precaution. Oil Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad-Rahbar told Mehr News Agency on Monday that the attack had not caused significant damage and the worm had been detected before it could infect systems."
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Iran's Oil Industry Hit By Cyber Attacks

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  • ITT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WinstonWolfIT (1550079) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @03:14AM (#39779605)

    In this thread, we have a computer at one of Iran's larger oil companies popping up an Avast alert due to an intern attempting to surf porn, and because of policies in place due to stuxnet, the entire computing infrastructure of Iran shuts down as a result. Gotta love spy.v.spy.

  • Ummm, was there a virus or not?

  • by barv (1382797)

    After the charade surrounding the bank hack (mentioned recently on /.) I somehow doubt that the no doubt religiously correct Muslims operating Iran's defensive computer net have the capacity to accurately detect any virus, let alone eradicate it.

  • How's that for an oxymoron:

    The worm had been detected before it could infect systems.

  • I have absolutely no professional or political insight on this issue. Circumstantially, I think it is fairly convenient that the recent controversy about Hormuz and the duplication of the drone happened recently and this story broke, along with the whole stuxnet business. I am not comp-sci literate enough to even understand what happened with that (although, I might be on par with a lot of folks who are dealing with these issues). Are we entering a new stage of 'cyber-warfare' that has been talked about sin
    • Hate replying to myself, but I think it might be worthwhile to add: I have seen the internal workings of the water control systems of my fairly modest local area (3,000,000 area, largest municipal serves ~200-300 K). I would hate to see what happened if any of those controls were maliciously compromised, as it could lead to problematic flooding or draining municipal systems. I am concerned that the major controls for these systems are maintained computationally, but the tradeoff has been reduction in monito
      • Since there are so many with a lack of understanding of technology, sensational headlines and assumptions will be used by propagandists to push their agenda. It's effective.

    • by LittleImp (1020687) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @04:07AM (#39779823)
      Occams Razor: Someone accidentally downloaded a virus while surfing at work.
      • Occams Razor: Someone accidentally downloaded a virus while surfing at work.

        Occams sharper Razor - a bunch of nice people have been downloading virus laden porn and warz at work, just like the rest of the world.

        They got caught.

        They cooked up a really great excuse: 'It's not my fault!'

  • 2011: Stuxnet, Iran takes its nuclear enrichment facilities off the net.

    2012: Oil refineries hack, Iran takes its oil refineries off the net.

    2013: Iran takes its power plants off the net.

    2014: Iran takes its water treatment plants off the net.

    2015: Iran takes ...

    The sad thing is that other countries are much worse than that, so Iran is actually ahead of the pack.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @04:59AM (#39780013)

    There has been no word on the details of the malware found, but computer systems controlling several of Iran's oil facilities were disconnected from the Internet as a precaution.

    And that's exactly how all the great "cyberwars" will end.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @05:37AM (#39780127)

    DON'T CONNECT CRITICAL SYSTEMS TO THE FUCKING INTERNET!

    "Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING."

    I am yelling.

    • by Viol8 (599362)

      You'd think the IT people who work in these sorts of critical installations whever in the world they are would have some vague clue about security. But I guess if there were no internet access they wouldn't be able to spend all day on social networks or surfing p0rn and clearly that takes priority over doing what they're fscking paid to do which is keep major infrastructure running.

      • Re:Quite (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ledow (319597) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @07:33AM (#39780389) Homepage

        You can have Internet access on the computer next to it - what's that got to do with having critical control systems accessible over the Internet?

        1) Separate the two PHYSICAL networks.

        2) Make sure that there are only authorised devices sit on the control network and NEVER anything else (big, huge, red lights and warnings when something new is detected).

        3) Make sure that even pulling the Internet cable out does not in any way affect the control system, and that tampering with the control system or even detecting a single packet destined for or originating from anything other than authorised devices sets off so many warnings people wouldn't even try.

        4) IF YOU REALLY MUST - make the control system expose only the absolute minimum of controls (i.e. don't trust user input and act only on a given, set, limited protocol of commands) over an encrypted protocol to only authorised devices from authorised networks that know all the one-time-passwords and whatever else you want to use to secure it. And never expose any interface that has the potential to be compromised autonomously (e.g. web interfaces etc.) - there's no need for it and the interface should NEVER be able to do anything but issue valid commands with all appropriate normal safeguards applied to them.

        You do NOT need a general purpose operating system to run a nuclear reactor - it's not only an incredibly bad idea, they warn you against doing things like that in the OS EULA itself because it's JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH and provides too much scope for mischief.

        One day, someone is going to end up running a nuclear reactor on Windows or something because they're just too thick to realise that's a problem and the slow creep of GPOS's into our lives will mean they will see nothing wrong with it.

    • Gee I bet they wish they'd thought of that before interfacing the reactor core control system with iTunes. This malicious software is explicitly tailored to the target systems and uploaded deliberately.
  • The iranian "oil industry" is doing just fine. This attack was nothing more than a website defacement. Hardly affecting "the industry".

  • Critical infrastructure systems should not be online, anyways, right? Asking for trouble!
    • by manu0601 (2221348)

      Stuxnet targets were not connected to the internet, that did not save them from being infected.

      The problem is that when you remove the network, people start using USB keys to move information and malwares

  • it was a "cyber" attack and not a bored controller surfing pr0n.
  • Seriously, after seeing that a nation can be easily crippled via Windows, how soon will the none American programmers switch to Linux? My guess is that it will happen QUICKLY.
  • Assuming this was an attack, and stuxnet was an attack; what happens when hostilities are resolved and the opposing countries go back to peace? Is it the responsiblity of the attacking country to clean up all the hard drives and firmware that was infected during the "war"? We all know how hard it can be to get rid of viruses/malware.

    What happens when peace is declared and yet there are latent "weapons" sill self infecting the computers?
  • OK actually its pretty darn typical that so many of the posts are engaging in Jew baiting or hating. Thats how /. rolls for the most part.

When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson

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