70% of Gas Stations disrupted, leading to long lines and angry crowds

A hacking group linked to Israel has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that reportedly disrupted most gas stations in Iran, leading to long lines and angry crowds. The group, known as “Gonjeshke Darande,” (which means Predatory Sparrow in Persian) cited that the attack was in response to the Islamic Republic’s aggression.

In a series of Tweets on X (formerly Twitter) in both English and Persian languages, the group explained the reason behind the attack:

“We, Gonjeshke Darande, carried out another cyberattack today, taking out a majority of the gas pumps throughout Iran. This cyberattack comes in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region.”

Addressing Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the group said he is playing with fire and will pay the price.

“Khamenei, playing with fire has a price.”

In a statement given to Iran’s state TV, the country’s Oil Minister Javed Owji, said that the attack was caused by external interference and led to service disruption on 70% of Iran’s gas stations. At least 30% of Iran’s gas stations are operational, with the rest gradually resolving service disruptions.

Some petrol stations, particularly in the capital, have experienced software issues with their fuel systems, and experts are working to fix the issue. The possibility of a cyberattack is also being considered.

Gonjeshke Darande revealed that the attack was conducted in a controlled manner, limiting potential damage to emergency services and ensuring a portion of gas stations were left unharmed. The group also emphasized the precautions taken to avoid harm to civilians, claiming that these companies are subject to international sanctions and continue their operations despite restrictions.

“We delivered warnings to emergency services across the country before the operation began, and ensured a portion of the gas stations across the country were left unharmed for the same reason, despite our access and capability to completely disrupt their operation,” the attackers noted.

This isn’t the first time Gonjeshke Darande has targeted Iranian infrastructure. It claimed responsibility for a cyberattack on Iran’s major steel companies in June 2022. The attack started a fire in a steel factory, releasing top secret documents proving the companies’ affiliation with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. The plant’s CEO confirmed no harm

The country’s civil defence agency is currently investigating the Monday attack on Iran’s gas stations, and Israeli media has covered the alleged attack. It is worth noting that there has been no statement from the Israeli government about the cyberattack.