Iran, China and US hit by cyber attacks

Iran, China and US hit by cyber attacks

Hackers have attacked networks in a number of countries including data centers in Iran where they left the image of a U.S. flag on screens along with a warning: "Don’t mess with our elections", the Iranian IT ministry said.

"The attack apparently affected 200,000 router switches across the world in a widespread attack, including 3500 switches in our country," IRNA cited the Communication and Information Technology Ministry as saying.

The statement said the attack, which hit internet service providers and cut off web access for subscribers, was made possible by a vulnerability in routers from Cisco which had earlier issued a warning and provided a patch that some firms had failed to install over the Iranian new year holiday.

Iran’s IT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi posted a picture of a computer screen on Twitter with the image of the U.S. flag and the hackers’ message. He said it was not yet clear who had carried out the attack.

Azari-Jahromi said the attack mainly affected Europe, India and the US, state television reported.

"Some 55,000 devices were affected in the United States and 14,000 in China, and Iran’s share of affected devices was 2%," Reuters cited Azari-Jahromi as saying.

Azari-Jahromi added the state computer emergency response body MAHER had shown “weaknesses in providing information to (affected) companies” after the attack which was detected late on Friday in Iran.

Hadi Sajadi, deputy head of the state-run Information Technology Organisation of Iran, said the attack was neutralized within hours and no data was lost.

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