Iran Needs to Update Its Virus Protection

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Even after a virus wiped data from the Iranian oil ministry's servers and forced the ministry to disconnect from the Internet late on Sunday, Iranian oil authorities are already acting like the breach is no big deal. We don't really know if it's a problem with Iranian officials clicking on shady email links, but it's the second time in two years that a virus has hit one of Iran's claim-to-fame industries (remember Stuxnet and what it may have did to the country's nuclear program?). And we'd be a little more concerned, if say, a virus made us have to unplug our country's oil system from the Internet. 

In fairness, even U.S. government agencies can be forced back to mid-20th century technologies. Earlier this month, it was reported that the the Economic Development Agency had turned off its internet access for more than 80 days after it got hit with an internet virus.

According to the AFP, the malware brought down the Iranian oil ministry's websites took the country's main oil export terminal offline, and wiped data off of official servers. Local news reports say that the Internet disruption, "has not caused any problem" in production or exports.  "To say that no data was harmed is not right. Only data related to some of the users have been compromised," Alireza Nikzad, Iran's oil ministry spokesman said in the AFP report, who added that a "cyber crisis committee" has been established in light of the attack. "The cyber attack has not harmed essential data of the oil ministry and the NIOC because the main servers are not connected to public servers," Nikzad added in the Pakistani news outlet, and mentioned that data was available on off-line servers.  

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.