DUBAI (Reuters) – Hackers have attacked networks in a number of countries, including data centers in Iran, where they see a US flag image on monitors warning us "Do not mess with our elections!" IT Ministry said on Saturday.
"The attack apparently involved 200,000 routers A large-scale attack on the whole world is about the globe, including 3,500 switches in our country," said the Department of Communications and Information Technology Statement by the Iranian news agency IRNA.
The statement states that the attack that hit Internet service providers and disrupted Internet access for subscribers was made possible by a vulnerability in Cisco routers that had previously issued a warning and provided a patch that some companies could not install the Iranian New Year holidays.
A blog released on Thursday by Nick Biasini, a threat researcher for Cisco's Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group, said: "Several incidents in several countries, including some specifically critical, have misused the Smart Install Protocol
"As a result, we take an active stance and urge our customers again on the increased risk and remediation available."
On Saturday night, Cisco said these postings were a tool to help Customers identify vulnerabilities and avert cyber-attacks.
Iran's IT minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi posted a picture of a computer screen with the image of the US flag and the message of the hackers on Twitter, saying it was not yet clear who carried out the attack.
Azari-Jahromi said the attack had mainly hit Europe, India and the United States ffen, reported the state television.
"About 55,000 devices were affected in the US and 14,000 in China, and Iran's share of affected devices was 2 percent," Azari-Jahromi was quoted as saying.
In a tweet, Azari-Jahromi said that the state-run computer emergency organization MAHER had demonstrated "weaknesses in providing information to (affected) businesses" following the attack that was discovered in Iran on Friday.
Hadi Sajadi, deputy head of the state-run Iranian Information Technology Organization, said the attack was neutralized within a few hours and no data was lost.
Reporting in the Dubai Newsroom, additional coverage by Dustin Volz in Washington; Arrangement of Ros Russell and G Crosse