Iran hits back at hacking claims and accuses Siemens of sabotaging equipment

News by Dan Raywood

Iran has 'categorically rejected' recent reports that it is actively hacking US banks.

Iran has ‘categorically rejected' recent reports that it is actively hacking US banks.

According to the Fars news agency, the head of Iran's Civil Defense Organisation, Gholam Reza Jalali, said that westerners are trying to portray Iran as a threat in cyber space to achieve their goals.

The allegations came from media reports that hackers from the Middle East had repeatedly attacked Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc over the past year as part of a broad cyber campaign targeting the United States.

US national security officials alleged last week that attacks were being carried out by Iran, with security sources telling the Chicago Tribune and NBC News that the attacks on the three largest US banks originated in Iran, but it was not clear if they were launched by the state, groups working on behalf of the government, or ‘patriotic' citizens.

In reply, Jalali dismissed the reports, saying that these reports are aimed at demonizing Iran in cyber space to portray the country as a global threat to cyber security and justify the US and Israeli cyber attacks on Iran.

In a separate report by the Jerusalem Post, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian Parliament's national security committee has accused Siemens of sabotaging its nuclear program after Iranian security experts discovered small explosives embedded in nuclear energy equipment.

Boroujerdi said ‘the equipment was supposed to blow up after installation in order to destroy our [nuclear] systems' while Jalali had accused Siemens of delivering to the ‘enemies of Iran information' via its SCADA Siemens program to help the Stuxnet virus infiltrate Iran's facilities.

Siemens immediately dismissed the allegations, with Deutsche Presse-Agentur quoting company spokesman Alexander Machowetz as saying: “We have no business dealings related to the Iranian nuclear program.”

As reported by SC Magazine last month, a report by the New York Times claimed that the United States and Israel were behind the Stuxnet virus that hit SCADA-based systems in Iran. Imperva's director of security strategy Rob Rachwald said that these actions showed that the Obama administration has given its approval to the use of cyber tools in espionage.

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