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Iran says over half of forecourts fixed after cyberattack

Iranian Oil Ministry says rationed fuel delivery has been restored at more than half of forecourts.

Iranian Oil Ministry authorities say a system used to supply rationed fuel to motorists in the country has been restored at more than half of gas stations days after the system came under a cyberattack.

The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) said on Saturday that rationed fuel had been made available at 2,000 out of 3,800 gas stations across Iran where fuel delivery is controlled by an online distribution system.

NIORDC’s chief Jalil Salari said that nearly 195 forecourts in the capital Tehran had also been connected to the system, adding that more than 160 others will come online within the next few days.

The statement comes five days after gas stations across Iran had to close down for several hours after a cyberattack targeted the online fuel delivery system.

Authorities have yet to announce more details of the attack which government sources have blamed on unknown foreign state actors.

Reports in the Iranian media have suggested that the NIORDC has dispatched expert teams to every single gas station in Iran to carry out upgrade operation on servers and other facilities, a move some experts believe is meant to improve security of the fuel delivery system against potential future attacks.

The gasoline and diesel rationing system has been in use in Iran since late 2000s as the country has been struggling to prevent fuel trafficking and wasteful consumption.

However, the system became more important in November 2019 when the government imposed price hikes that caused unrest in large cities.

The Oil Ministry announced right after the cyberattack on Monday that it will consider extra rations of gasoline for motorists to compensate for several days of outage that prevented their access to a monthly quota of 60 liters.

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