Iran’s goal is to ‘dominate and control’ the region: Gen. Jack Keane
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The oil minister in Iran confirmed on Monday that a cyberattack caused a nationwide disruption to gas stations.
Reuters reported that the hacking group, Gonjeshke Darande, or “Predatory Sparrow,” claimed to carry out the attack, as reported by Iranian state TV and Israeli local media.
Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji told Iranian state TV early on that the disruption affected about 70% of the petrol stations in Iran, adding that the cause was possibly outside interference.
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People wait at a gas station during gas station disruption in Tehran, Iran, December 18, 2023. (Majid Asgaripour/WANA West Asia News Agency via REUTERS)
The oil minister later stated 1,650 stations of the 3,800 stations the ministry supervises were operational.
Gonjeshke Darande claimed in a statement on Telegram that it conducted the disruption, which was also reported by Iran’s state TV news and local media outlets in Israel.
“We, Gonjeshke Darande, carried out another cyberattack today, taking out a majority of the gas pumps throughout Iran,” the statement read. “This cyberattack comes in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region.
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A general view of a gas station during a gas station disruption in Tehran, Iran, December 18, 2023. (Majid Asgaripour/WANA West Asia News Agency via REUTERS)
“A month ago, we warned you that we’re back and that we will impose cost for your provocations,” the statement continued. “This is just a taste of what we have in store.”
Israeli government spokesperson Tal Heinrich said during a press briefing on Monday that there is nothing to say about Iran’s claims, when asked about the cyberattacks.
Iran’s civil defense agency claimed the investigation was still open, and it was considering all possible causes for the disruptions.
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A general view of a gas station during gas station disruption in Tehran, Iran, December 18, 2023. (Majid Asgaripour/WANA West Asia News Agency via REUTERS)
This is not the first time Gonjeshke Darande claimed to have conducted cyberattacks against Iran, as the group has also claimed to disrupt rail networks and steel factories.
Just last year, Gonjeshke Darande shared a video of an explosion inside a steel factory and said it was caused by one of the group’s hacks.
A representative of the group told Reuters five days after the Oct. 7 invasion of Israel by Hamas-led terrorists that they targeted Iran because it supported Hamas. The representative also said the hacker group was planning for future attacks while “keeping some ‘buttons’ on hold.”
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“…in the event that we detect any kind offensive action in any realm from any proxy against our country we will attack and cause permanent and unimaginable damage to any target we see fit via Air, Sea, Land and Cyber,” the group told Reuters at the time. “When we will start, the gates of hell will open.”
In 2021, another cyberattack in Iran disrupted the sale of fuel, and country leaders claimed the U.S. and Israel were likely behind the attacks.
The attack on Monday hit Tehran hard as many gas stations were forced to operate manually, according to Iranian media.
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A spokesperson for Iran’s petrol stations association, Reza Navar, told the Fars news agency there was not a fuel supply shortage, though drivers were advised not to go to petrol stations.
“A software problem with the fuel system has been confirmed in some stations across the country and experts are currently fixing the issue,” Navar said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.
Story tips and can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @GregWehner.