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Hackers warn Supreme Leader of Iran: 'Khamenei, playing with fire has a price. This is just a taste of what we have in store'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with the guests of the Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 3, 2023. (Photo: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA via REUTERS)

A group of hackers previously linked to Israel said on Monday that it successfully hacked gas stations across Iran and disabled them.

Iranian state media reported that almost 70% of the regimes' gas stations were out of service, and said the systems failure was due to a “software problem.” Iran has around 33,000 gas stations nationwide

The hacking group, Gonjeshke Darande, stated they successfully hacked their way into the payment systems of the gas stations, as well as the central server and management system of each affected gas station.  

Gonjeshke Darande, meaning “predatory sparrow” in Persian, is believed to be linked to the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, according to the Times of Israel,

The hacker group sent a clear message to the leaders of the Islamic Republic, saying the attack was in response to Iran’s “aggression.”

“This cyber-attack comes in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region,” the group said in both Persian and English.

The statements went on to warn Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, that more hacking attacks would come if the ayatollah regime's aggression against Israel did not stop.

“Khamenei, playing with fire has a price,” the group said. “This is just a taste of what we have in store.”

Iran’s proxies in the Middle East include Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq. I

Iran’s proxies are managed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Gonjeshke Darande said in a second statement that it had warned emergency services before embarking on the cyber-attack.

“As in our previous operations, this cyberattack was conducted in a controlled manner while taking measures to limit potential damage to emergency services,” the group stated, adding:

“We delivered warnings to emergency services across the country before the operation began, and ensured a portion of the gas stations across the country were left unharmed for the same reason, despite our access and capability to completely disrupt their operation.”

Last year, Gonjeshke Darande hackers claimed responsibility for a cyber-attack that forced Iranian state-owned Khuzestan Steel Co. to stop production. A year before that, the hacking group went after Iran’s fuel distribution system and disabled gas stations across the country.

Israel National Cyber Directorate announced on Monday that Iran and the Hezbollah terror group were behind last month's attempt to hack the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.

Ziv Medical Center is the largest northern Israeli hospital near the Lebanese border and has treated many Israelis injured by Hezbollah’s almost-daily attacks since the war began.

“In a joint effort by the cyber directorate, the IDF, the Shin Bet, and the Health Ministry and hospital teams, the attack was stopped before it could achieve its goal of disrupting the hospital’s operations and harming the medical care of civilians,” the directorate said in a statement.

“However, it was found that the group stole some sensitive information stored in the hospital’s systems,” it added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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