Iran rejects US accusations after hacker attack
Iran has rejected US media reports saying that Iranian computer experts were behind the recent hacker attacks on American targets. On Sunday, Iran's ISNA news agency reported the Secretary of the National Center of Cyberspace, Mahdi Akhavan Bahabadi, as saying that the allegations are false, unethical and politically motivated, and that they are part of the ongoing US election campaign. "Iran itself is victim of cyber attacks and we therefore offer our help to the affected companies," the official was further quoted as saying.
Over the past few days, the US media reported that a massive wave of hacker attacks had targeted oil and gas companies in the Persian Gulf and banks in the US. Quoting US government sources, on Saturday the Wall Street Journal said that the hackers are believed to belong to a network of Iranian computer-security specialists. According to the newspaper, the attacks could have been launched in retaliation for the sanctions against Iran's finance and oil industries.
Last Thursday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke of a "significant escalation of the cyber threat" without mentioning Iran directly. The Defense Secretary warned of the possibility of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor", alluding to the devastating Japanese attack on the US Navy base in December 1941.