Iran data centres "under US cyber-attack"

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Iranian data centres have come under attack by hackers apparently seeking revenge for meddling in the 2017 US elections.

The attack, confirmed by Reuters, citing the Iranian IT ministry, saw US flags left on screens, together with the message “Don’t mess with our elections”.

“The attack apparently affected 200,000 router switches across the world in a widespread attack, including 3,500 switches in our country,” Iran’s news agency IRNA quoted the Communication and Information Technology Ministry.

But it wasn’t just data centres – ISPs were under attack as well, and web access for some people was limited. The hack was carried through a vulnerability in Cisco’s routers.

Cisco had already patched the vulnerability, but it seems the Iranians failed to update their devices.

Cisco also confirmed the attack. In a blog post by threat researcher from Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group, Nick Biasini, it was said that an attack occurred in multiple countries.

“As a result, we are taking an active stance, and are urging customers, again, of the elevated risk and available remediation paths.”

It was also said that Iran’s IT Minister, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, posted a screenshot with the hackers’ message. He also apparently said that just two per cent of devices in Iran were affected.

“Some 55,000 devices were affected in the United States and 14,000 in China, and Iran’s share of affected devices was 2 percent,” Azari-Jahromi was quoted as saying.

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