Iran Says Hackers Targeted Two Government Institutions.

Iran's cybersecurity authority says hackers this week launched "large-scale" attacks on two Iranian government institutions.
Local media quoted Abolghasem Sadeghi, from the government's Information Technology Organization, as saying on October 15 that some governmental bodies temporarily shut down their Internet services as a precaution against further attacks. Sadeghi said the cyberattacks, which he described as "important and on a large scale,” occurred on October 12-13. The reports did not indicate the targets or the suspected perpetrators. Iran says it is on high alert following previous cyberattacks and malicious software, or malware, that officials have blamed on the United States and other foreign foes. The United States and other Western powers have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their online networks. Iran is said to have disconnected much of its infrastructure from the Internet after the Stuxnet computer virus, believed to be a joint U.S.-Israeli creation, disrupted the Iranian nuclear program, according to reports that began to emerge in 2010. Tensions between Tehran, Washington, and U.S. allies have escalated since 2018, when the United States withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and began a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran's leadership. Last month, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Arab Gulf countries against Iran. Meeting the Saudi foreign minister on October 14, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo encouraged Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional foe, to sign a similar accord with Israel. Pompeo said the agreements "reflect a changing dynamic in the region, one in which countries rightly recognize the need for regional cooperation to counter Iranian influence and generate prosperity."

With reporting by AP and Reuters

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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