Iranian Institutions Give Up Internet to Keep Cyber-Attacks at Bay
Iran decides to cut off Internet access for some key ministries and state organizations starting this September to protect them against cyber-attacks.
Viruses such as Stuxnet and Flamer that have been hitting Iran with regularity for the past years convinced local authorities that an offline computer network would significantly diminish the risk posed by threats traveling through the World Wide Web.
Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour believes this is a crucial step for Iran if the country wants to shield its sensitive intelligence from the untrustworthy “one or two” countries that control the Internet and are hostile to Iran. Taking the national intelligence network offline “will create a situation where the precious intelligence of the country won’t be accessible to these powers,” Mr Taghipour declaired in a conference at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University, according to The Telegraph.
This would be the first step of a more ample project to substitute the Internet with a local intranet structure by 2014.
First discovered in 2010, Stuxnet propagated silently within Iranian networks and ended up destroying 1,000 centrifuges and damaging their uranium enrichment infrastructure. Iran claiming that their program is peaceful was not enough to destroy the westerners’ suspicion that their endeavor has as end-result the atomic bomb. And then came Flamer, a spying tool believed to target Iran’s oil ministry and export.
All these attacks against their state apparatus, speculated to be part of a U.S. and Israeli intelligence operation, gave Iran the stimulus and motivation to initiate a domestic intranet system. Westerners judge this as a way of beating back western influence and increase control over political activists and government opponents.
Skeptical voices believe a domestic network would be ineffective and chances of a proper implementation slight.