Tehran said the cyberattack may have been a trial run to prepare for a larger, future attack. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Iran says U.S. behind large-scale infrastructure cyberattack


Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A large-scale cyberattack last weekend that targeted Iranian infrastructure appeared to come from the United States, a senior civil defense leader in Tehran said.

The distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack last Sunday was experienced by Internet users across Iran and particularly affected two mobile operators. Iranian officials said it was largely thwarted by Tehran's cyber-defenses.

Brig. Gen. Gholam-Reza Jalali, the head of Iran's civil defense organization, said late Thursday the attack probably originated from the United States.

Although tracing DDoS attacks can be "very difficult and time-consuming," Jalali said experts have nevertheless determined "the U.S. was the origin."

"The Americans' cyberattack has been foiled by our cyber defense unit," he added, warning that the episode may have served as a stalking horse to assess the feasibility for a larger, future attack.

The civil defense chief said the United States has resorted to repeated cyberattacks against Iran after "failing to give a military response to our recent shootdown of their unmanned aerial vehicle in the Iranian waters as well as our missile attack on Ain al-Assad base [in Iraq]."

Despite repeated attempts, he said, the U.S. attacks have failed to seriously damage any of Iran's infrastructure.

Jalali's remarks came shortly after an Israeli cyberdefense firm reported that the Palestinian Authority in Gaza was also targeted by a cyberattack recently.

The Cybereason report said Thursday the hacks involved the Iranian-supported MoleRATs group, which is affiliated with Palestinian Sunni-Islamic militant organization Hamas. The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has at times conflicted with Hamas, the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip.