‘Playing With Fire Has a Price’: Israeli Hackers Say They Disabled Most of Iran’s Gas Stations | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Hackers tied to Israel’s government on Monday took credit for a cyberattack that shut down gas stations across Iran.

“This cyberattack comes in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region,” the group, Gonjeshke Darande, which means “Predatory Sparrow” in Persian), said in a post on X.

The digital attacks, which began early on Monday morning, initially hit roughly 70% of Iran’s gas stations, according to the country’s oil minister. In a subsequent update, he said that 56% of stations remained offline.

Multiple media outlets have reported that Predatory Sparrow is part of Israel’s elite military cyber corps, which has repeatedly launched destructive cyberattacks on Iranian institutions as part of the long-simmering conflict between the two countries.

The hacking of Iran’s gas stations comes as Israel continues its ground assault in the Gaza Strip against Hamas, which U.S. and Israeli officials believe receives Iranian funding. The outages also coincided with a visit to Israel by President Joe Biden’s top military officials, who are urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to de-escalate its operations in Gaza to avoid sparking a broader war in the Middle East.

Israel may be using Predatory Sparrow to punish Iran for helping Hamas. Within days of the militants’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the group reemerged after a nearly year-long hiatus and hinted that it would resume operations.

In a post on Telegram, the hackers said their attack on Iran’s gas stations “was conducted in a controlled manner while taking measures to limit potential damage to emergency services.” The group said it warned Iranian emergency-services agencies before launching its attack and deliberately left some gas stations operational, “despite our access and capability to completely disrupt their operation.”

Predatory Sparrow has a reputation for conducting hacks that cause serious physical damage, a rarity in the world of cyber operations. In July 2022, the group released surveillance footage of an explosion at an Iranian steel facility that it said resulted from one of several digital intrusions it carried out against Iran’s steel industry the previous month.

In its Telegram post on Monday, the group warned Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, that “playing with fire has a price.”


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