Items tagged with Iran

Apple has done something that iPhone users in Iran won't be happy about. As of about noon GMT on Thursday, it appears that Apple has implemented a countrywide IP ban that has blocked all iPhone users in Iran from accessing the App Store. When an Iranian user attempts to access the App Store, they receive a message that says "The App Store is unavailable in the country or region you're in." Some users in Iran have been able to get around the IP ban by using a VPN even if their account has Iranian details in it. As for why the ban has taken place, Apple has given no official word. However, Apple doesn’t sell any products in the country and there is no Iranian App Store due to U.S. sanctions... Read more...
Pikachu's have been prohibited; Bulbasaurs have been banned; Charmanders are nowhere to be found in Iran. All poetry aside, authorities in Iran have banned Pokémon GO due to unspecified “security concerns”. The ban has been issued by the High Council of Virtual Spaces which oversees all online activity. However, Iranians had been playing the game, despite restrictions on Internet usage. As of last week, authorities in Iran said they were waiting to see to what extent Niantic would cooperate with them. It appears that whatever negotiations were being conducted fell through, and Iran has become the first country to officially ban the game. Sixteen years ago a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling,... Read more...
U.S. businesses have been advised to be on high alert as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns of a highly sophisticated Iranian hacking operation targeting various firms around the world. It's the same operation that cyber security outfit Cylance Inc. investigated a week ago, in which it uncovered more than 50 victims in 16 countries, including the U.S. Cylance called it Operation Cleaver.The FBI's warning was included in a confidential "Flash" report that Reuters claims to have seen and is filled with technical details about malware and the various techniques cyber criminals are using to pull off these large scale attacks. It also contains advice for businesses on how to protect themselves... Read more...
Yesterday, the newly minted head of the United States' Cyber Command team and NSA head General Keith Alexander told assembled lawmakers that the US has created offensive cyberwarfare divisions designed to do far more than protect US assets from foreign attacks. This is a major change in policy from previous public statements -- in the past, the US has publicly focused on defensive actions and homegrown security improvements. "I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team,” General Alexander told the House Armed Services Committee. "This is an offensive team that the Defense Department would use to defend the nation if it were attacked in cyberspace.... Read more...
A couple of years ago, the Stuxnet worm went on a bit of a rampage worldwide and hit Iranian systems especially hard. Primarily, it hit industrial targets including nuclear power plants and oil rigs. Stuxnet itself has faded a bit, although it was revealed this summer that another particularly nasty piece of malware called Flame had a lot of code in common with Stuxnet, indicating some level of cybercriminal collaboration. Now, according to the AP, Stuxnet has cropped up again, and again the unfortunate parties on the business end of the malware are in Iran. Reportedly, the worm has attacked more industrial targets, including a nuclear power plant, in the southern part of the country. Stuxnet... Read more...
The next time someone smirks and gives you a line about video games being stupid, you can say “Oh yeah? If they’re so unimportant, why did Iran ban a shooter for portraying its military in a negative light?” That’ll learn ‘em. That’s right, Iran took issue with the yet-to-be released ArmA III by Bohemia Interactive. The FPS game pits Iran against NATO in a massive battle in Europe. Iran denied the game a license to be sold in Iran, which means it won’t be sold there. As The Verge points out, this isn’t the first time that Iran has blocked media from being sold in the country when it has believed that the media portrayed Iran in an unfair... Read more...
A sophisticated computer virus that targets solely Siemens SCADA, or "supervisory control and data acquisition," systems, has infiltrated systems across the globe, and has hit Iran "very hard." The Stuxnet virus has reportedly struck industrial sites throughout Iran, including its nuclear facilities. SCADA systems are commonly used to manage oil rigs, power plants, water facilities, and other industrial plants. Stuxnet was first identified this summer, but the Windows vulnerability exploited by the malware was first described in April of 2009. Microsoft confirmed earlier this week that it "overlooked" the vulnerability when it was revealed last year. Two of the four vulnerabilities exploited... Read more...