Recent fires and explosions at important Iranian sites, according to sources, may have been intentionally triggered as part of an activity involving cyberattacks.
Several incidents have occurred at major Iranian industrial premises in recent weeks, including a fire at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site and an explosion at the Parchin military complex near Tehran, which is believed to be involved in missile production.
Iranian officials blamed a gas leak for the Parchin explosion and, in Natanz ‘s case, they downplayed the incident claiming it only affected a warehouse under construction.
Many assume, however, that the destruction was more extensive than Tehran acknowledged and there also seems to have been an explosion in the case of Natanz. Experts also told the Associated Press that a manufacturing facility was apparently impacted by the Natanz accident.
Natanz, one of Iran ‘s main nuclear installations, was attacked with Stuxnet malware a decade ago as part of a program allegedly run by the US and Israel.
According to some reports, the latest incident may also have involved a cyber-attack allegedly launched by Israel.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida claimed to have heard from sources that the Natanz fire was the result of a cyber-attack aimed at gas compression systems and that a blast in a reactor building allegedly caused crack. The same newspaper claimed that a cyberattack triggered the Parchin accident, too.
Iran’s Mizan news agency quoted an Iranian military leader saying that if a cyber-attack were involved the country would “respond.”
An apparent Iranian dissident group calling itself “Homeland’s Cheetahs” took credit for the attack on Natanz’s facility, but did not provide any further information.
In April, Israel announced that industrial control systems (ICS) at some of its water facilities had been attacked by a sophisticated threat actor who knew exactly how to attack ICS.
Iran was the key suspect in that attack, which may have aimed at disrupting or poisoning Israel’s water supply. However, Israel said it thwarted the attack before doing any harm.