Gas stations close across Iran after ‘cyberattack’ reportedly disrupts country’s smart fuel system — RT World News

On Tuesday, Iran’s gas stations went out of business after a cyberattack allegedly caused the smart fuel system to go down. The smart fuel system is a way for citizens living in sanctions-hit countries to get gasoline at lowered prices.

After the electronic cards stopped functioning shortly before noon, there were long queues at petrol stations in Iran.

Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and several state-run broadcasters have said that the disruption is the result of a cyberattack. 

They didn’t name the culprit behind the hack, but Tehran has been long blaming its regional archrival Israel of carrying out cyberattacks and sabotage activities, targeting Iranian nuclear facilities and other key infrastructure.

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According to AP, a semi-official ISNA News Agency published an article about government-issued card users who received a message. “cyberattack 64411,”They inserted the cards into gas station readers. The outlet quickly removed the story and claimed that hackers were responsible. 

The number 64411, which is associated with the hotline on Islamic Law issues run by the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reportedly also featured during the hack on the country’s railway system in July.

Check Point, an Israeli cybersecurity firm, attributed the attack to Indra hackers. The breach happened on March 2, according to the company. “politically motivated,”However, he described the group as “a non-state sponsored actor.” Indra had previously targeted firms in Syria, which is Iran’s ally as the two neighbors fight terrorism together.

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On Tuesday, Iranian energy officials met in an emergency to discuss the situation and gave assurances that all was being done to bring back the smart fuel system’s operations as soon as possible.

They said that some gas stations in the country would be pumping gasoline without electronic cards, but they’ll do so at a higher price. 

To curb fuel smuggling and increase efficiency, Iran’s smart fuel system has been reintroduced back in 2019. 

Iranian motorists can purchase 60 liters each month of gasoline at 15,000rials (5 cents per liter) thanks to subsidies that are linked to these cards. The price outside the quota stands at 30,000 rials (10 cents) a liter, but it’s still some nine times lower than in the US.

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