Cyber Attack Causes Property Damage, Leaked Data and Production Halting

July 19, 2022
cyber attack on iranian steel mill

Three major steel mills in Iran were recently the target of a cyber attack that allegedly was carried out by a “hacktivist” group called the Predatory Sparrow.

The group gained access to the steel mills and caused the machines to malfunction and catch on fire. This caused major damage to the equipment and forcing production to halt until further notice. On top of the physical damage, the group also stole gigabytes of data from the affected companies, including confidential emails that they have already started sharing. These mills are owned by the¬†Khuzestan Steel Company, one of the most prominent companies in Iran’s steel industry, and two other major state-owned firms. Despite the size of these companies, their overly permissive accessibility made them vulnerable to adversaries.

The escalation of these attacks show how dangerous it can be to have poor cyber security posture in the current threat landscape. It’s not a question of “if” companies will get attacked but “when”. Virtually every single organization will be attacked and breached at some point in the near future. So the solution is to invest in cyber resiliency which means gaining the ability to keep operating despite being under threat. The principle of resiliency is that your business needs to be able to deliver on its mission while adversaries are trying to bridge an attack on your environment.

Adopting a proactive network visibility solution, such as Network Perception’s NP-View, is crucial to increasing cyber resilience and minimizing the damage when cyberattacks occur. Visibility and proper segmentation can help organizations identify overly permissive network accessibility before the network traffic begins gives organizations the ability to keep operating despite being under threat.