Iranian police have confiscated one million mobile phones and computers over a cyberattack that targeted Tehran’s gasoline filling stations.
Police in Tehran said those responsible for the breach included Iranian intelligence agents and people who attempted to buy diesel after opening the electronic barrels that let people fill their tanks. Iranian police general Hossein Ejei said gasoline bills have risen nearly 30 percent since the attack.
Hours later, VOA reported the Iranian navy said it had intercepted a naval vessel that had been spying on the country. It said the vessels left the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday for a visit to Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf. Iran said in a statement carried by state media that on Wednesday it seized the vessel, which it described as belonging to a military group under US control. It was not clear if the vessel belonged to the US.
The phone, a laptop and 78 more cellphones were confiscated at the Tehran filling stations, according to the state television. Ejei did not say how authorities had determined that the attack originated in Iran. But, he said, the filling stations had closed the barrels remotely, and drivers opened them anyway to fill up. He said the barrels were not tampered with, but released by the attackers.
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President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed criticism of Iranian authorities for the breach and said that while Iran was able to fight off the cyberattack, it could not fight all hackers. “We will fight them,” Rouhani said. “But there are some corrupt elements. The government should work on those corrupt elements.”
Iran’s air force said Tuesday it had shot down a drone that had penetrated the country’s airspace. It said the drone had entered Iran’s airspace near the holy city of Qom, which is home to one of the highest concentration of Shiite shrines.
“Our country’s air force has shot down a Fajr-3 stealth drone that was trying to enter Iran’s airspace,” the air force said in a statement carried by state media. The Fajr-3 is Iran’s latest unmanned drone.