Petrol pumps across Iran hacked to deliver free gasoline

A severe cyberattack would have been the cause of a massive disruption at gas stations across Iran, disfiguring the screens of gas pumps and electronic billboards. This incident began to be reported a few hours ago and seems to affect only the facilities of NIOPDC, a state-owned company that manages almost 4,000 gasoline pumps throughout the country.

Reports and some videos shared on social networks show that the screens in the affected facilities only show the message “cyberattack 64411”, so it is impossible to use them correctly. After seeing that it was impossible to work in this way, the employees were ordered to close the gas stations.

Other reports indicate that billboards at these facilities also displayed messages such as “Khamenei, where’s the gasoline?” and “Free gasoline here.” These messages appear to be a reference to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Saudi nation.

Moreover, the published number corresponds to the Ayatollah’s office and was also used during a cyberattack detected in the middle of this year, when similar messages were shown to users throughout Iran’s transport network. On that occasion, the incident was related to Meteor, a well-known data-erasing malware, although no one seems to believe that these incidents are linked in any way.

Finally, and despite the multiple reports and evidence of the incident, the Ministry of Oil in Iran dismissed the versions that speak of a cyberattack and pointed out that in reality it is all a massive flaw in the software used to control these facilities.

Later a government representative confirmed that the service stations were already working normally, in addition to mentioning that an emergency meeting would be held between government officials to fully address this situation; after these reports, some media outlets retracted their initial reports and stuck to the government’s official version.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.