Iran's oil sector gets cybersecurity review

Jan. 13, 2014 at 7:46 AM

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The Iranian oil sector must have the appropriate safeguards in place to defend against a cyberattack, oil and civil defense officials said.

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization, met Sunday and agreed on the need for a strong defensive shield to protect the oil ministry from unconventional threats, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported.

Both leaders said they were aware of the looming threats but felt existing safeguards were adequate, Fars reported.

In 2012, Iran accused the Israeli government of launching a cyberattack on the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co. The same year, Iran was blamed by the United States for launching a denial-of-service attack against the Saudi oil industry and other Western interests.

U.S. and Israeli agencies were blamed by Iran for Stuxnet, a virus that struck Iranian nuclear facilities at Natanz.

In a country profile of Iran, the World Bank said revenue generated from oil and natural gas accounts for more than half of government revenues. Sanctions on Iran's energy sector caused the national currency, the rial, to collapse in 2012.

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