Iran’s rail system came under a presumed hacker attack on Friday, Fars News Agency said in a report that was swiftly deleted from its website.
The report initially stated that fake messages about cancellations and delays appeared on display boards across Iranian train stations, with passengers advised by hackers to call a phone number for more information, that of the office of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.
The state broadcaster IRIB added that trains were delayed and the work of ticket offices and station entrances had been disrupted as a result of the purported attack.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways’ computer systems were also reportedly affected, with the company’s website www.rai.ir not loading as of Saturday 12:20 p.m.
However, the railway company’s General Manager Sadegh Sekri later told ISNA news agency that “no problems or disturbances” had affected rail stations or passengers. Rather, a reported “disorder” has occurred at “commercial area” but the source of his disruption has remained unknown.
"There have been no disruptions or cyber attacks on the passenger, freight or intercity train stations,” the official said.
The country’s state officials didn’t comment on the reports.
Iran’s former Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said last year that Tehran is facing “hundreds” of cyberattacks every day, with most of them being blamed on the US. In April, Tehran accused Israel of carrying out a sabotage attack on its nuclear facility Natanz which has damaged its centrifuges. Israel neither denied nor confirmed these claims.