Iran's transport ministry says it was hit by ‘cyber disruption’

Iran has been the target of repeated attempted cyber attacks in recent years. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

TEHERAN (AFP) - Iran's Transport Ministry on Saturday (July 10) said a "cyber disruption" had affected its computer systems and website, while the country's national railway company denied reports of being hit by a cyber attack.

The disruption started before noon (3.30pm Singapore time), taking down the body's website and links associated with it, the ministry said in a statement reported by state news agency IRNA.

It said "technical experts" were investigating the issue and would make an announcement when the systems were back up, without elaborating further.

The body's website was still inaccessible around 5pm.

The railway company's announcement came a day after Fars news agency reported "unprecedented chaos" at stations, with hundreds of trains delayed or cancelled.

In the now-deleted report, it said the incident followed "a widespread disruption in... computer systems that is probably due to a cyber attack".

Mr Sadegh Sekri, a spokesman for Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, told ISNA on Saturday that "there has been no disruption or cyber attack for passenger, cargo or intercity trains".

The company had said in a statement late on Friday that trains were arriving and departing on schedule with "no problems".

This followed the Fars report, which had included a picture of a station's departures and arrivals board showing rows of cancelled trips, with a message reading "long delays due to cyber attacks".

Iran has been the target of repeated attempted cyber attacks in recent years.

Government infrastructure was targeted by a "highly organised cyber attack" back in late 2019.

Teheran "identified and repelled" that threat, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said at the time, without identifying the attackers and the exact sectors targeted.

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