On March 31 2015, a major power failure interested the Turkey, a blackout paralyzed the principal cities across the country, more than 40 million people were plunged into darkness. Transportation, hospitals and many other services in the country was blocked and among the security community circulated rumors about a possible cyber attack of a foreign country.
“Computers, airports, air traffic, traffic lights, hospitals, lights, elevators, refrigeration, water and sewage, everything simply stopped. In an instant, Turkey was transported back to the stone ages,” reported the New York Observer.
The main suspect for the alleged cyber attack that blocked the Turkish systems for 12 hours is the Iran. Intelligence experts speculate that the attack is a payback for the support offered by the Turkey to Saudi Arabia in a dispute against the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. It could also be related to Turkey’s recent moves to topple Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who is also a strong Iranian ally.
Another wing of the international community of the intelligence elaborated a different hypothesis, due to the alliance between the Syria and the Iran, Iranian state-sponsored hackers hit the Turkey due to its moves to topple the Syrian regime led by President Bashar Assad.
Recently The British Business Insider published an interesting post on the Iranian cyber capabilities, according the experts the Government of Teheran is improving expertise in the cyber domain faster than experts ‘would have ever imagined’.
Iran is secretly working on a new generation of that could cause serious damages to the critical infrastructure of foreign governments and that could be used to penetrate their networks.
According to the research firm Small Media, Iran increased cyber-security spending 12-fold since President Hassan Rouhani gained power in 2013. I suggest you to give a look to the report released by experts at Small Media. Vowing to ramp up the country’s cyber capabilities, Rouhani has given the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) an annual cyber security budget of roughly $19.8 million.
If confirmed, the attack on Turkey represents a serious act of cyber warfare, but the problem of attribution is difficult to solve.
Whatever the reason for the outage, it is important to consider that similar incidents can be the reality in the near future, the effectiveness of cyber strategy is today a pillar of the stability of any government.
(Security Affairs – Iran, Turkey blackout)