Iran Oil Ministry denies cyberattack

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian oil ministry official on Saturday denied a report published by a government agency that it had successfully blocked a cyberattack on an oil sector computer network.

Ahmad Tavallaei, head of IT at the National Iranian Oil Company, said in comments posted on the oil ministry’s website shana.ir that a technical problem, not a cyberattack, was the reason for a temporary shutdown of the network.

An Iranian government agency in charge of fighting sabotage said earlier Saturday in its website, paydarymelli.ir, that the networks of the Oil Ministry and the National Iranian Oil Company came under cyberattack the day before.

Iran periodically reports the discovery of viruses and other malicious programs in government, nuclear, oil and industrial networks, blaming Israel and the United States. In May, Iran shut down part of its oil facilities because of another such reported cyberattack.

Israel has done little to deflect suspicion that it uses viruses against Iran.

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