Hackers infiltrated Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development network long before cyberattack

In early July of this year, the websites of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development of Iran in the computer systems of the ministry’s employees were disabled as a result of a cyberattack by unknown attackers. As it turned out, the hackers had hacked into the ministry’s computer systems at least a month before the cyberattack, Iran International TV station reported.

Hackers entered the system in early June, and at the end of the month began preparations for an attack on the network of Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development. The attackers made changes to the boot protocols and changed user passwords. Then they locked down the system and took control. Network recovery systems were also disabled.

The criminals changed the access of system administrators and their ability to remotely connect to the system. Iranian cybersecurity experts concluded that the attack was facilitated by users who do not adhere to security protocols when working remotely from home, existing vulnerabilities in systems, lack of password protection, lack of antivirus software updates, and insufficient investment in cybersecurity.

As a result of a system-wide failure in the computer network of Iran’s railways, hundreds of rail flights were allegedly delayed and canceled. However, the head of public relations at the ministry, Sadegh Sokri, denied the cyberattack and said there were only “disruptions to freight transport.”

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