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Iran denies cyberattack affected water management systems

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Energy Ministry denies hackers penetrated its water storage data systems. 

The Iranian Energy Ministry has denied reports that systems used in the Ministry to manage data about water reservoirs in the country came under a cyberattack. 

“The claim about cyberattack on Iran’s water resources database is not true,” said E’tezad Moghimi, who heads crisis management and civil defenses in the Ministry, on Wednesday.

Moghimi told the official IRNA news agency that the Energy Ministry had imposed brief curbs on general access to the databases to carry out updates on the system. He insisted that the system was available for technical experts and no cyberattack has happened.

The statement came hours after sources told the IRIB News that systems used for management of water quantities in dams and reservoirs in Iran had been shut down for the past two weeks apparently because of a cyberattack.

The “informed source” said that the attack had even affected access to software used by staff for messaging and internal communication.

Iran has seen several high-profile cyberattacks affecting key infrastructure in recent months, including one in July which disrupted systems in the transportation ministry and briefly hampered train services.

Iran normally blames such cyberattacks on the United States or the regime of Israel. Government departments have boosted their defenses while authorities say they are on high alert for cyberattacks.

A successful attack on databases dedicated to water management systems in Iran could have been very costly especially amid a severe drought in the country which has already affected water supplies in some towns and cities.

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