The Iranian authorities have managed to avoid a potential disastrous data loss by responding very quickly and efficiently to a virus that was discovered at an oil terminal.
The malware was first discovered on Sunday and forced the Iranian authorities to disconnect the main oil export terminal on Kharg Island which is in the Persian Gulf. The virus name has yet to be disclosed but it was a data deleing virus which could have had catastrophic consequences if it wasn’t found when it was done. The Iranian authorities acted decisively and therefore prevented the virus from spreading and therefore made the actions that were undertaken very effective in containing it. The Iranian authorities have confirmed this and stated that they had to disconnect the oil export terminal so prevent the virus from spreading.
Iran’s deputy oil minister, Hamdolah Mohammadnejad has confirmed the events and told the official IRNA news agency that the actions implemented stopped the virus from spreading and therefore limiting the impact it could have had.
Mohammadnejad stated, “We shut computers connected to these servers temporarily and fortunately we were able to stop its spread. Thus no information or data were harmed. We are investigating the causes of these cyber problems and in the next two to three days we hope the problems will be solved.”
As an investigation is underway, David Harley who is a senior researcher at the anti-virus company ESET stated, “”At present, it is difficult to say exactly how the virus was able to infiltrate Iran’s systems. Iran’s computing environments are a little unusual, in that there are no legitimate channels for directly supplying and maintaining standard operating systems and apps. This may result in greater than usual exposure to all kinds of exploits.”
This case does prove that as long as decisive and calculated actions are taken when a threat such as a virus is found, data loss can be minimal or prevented all together. It is important that effective plans are in place alongside an effective security system and to ensure that everyone knows what they are meant to do in such an occasion.