DUBAI, Sept 23 Iran denied its hackers attacked
American banks, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on
Sunday, following a Reuters report that three of the largest
American lenders were repeatedly targeted over the past year.
The hacking of websites and corporate networks at Bank of
America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup
Inc began in late 2011 and escalated this year, people
familiar with the situation told Reuters.
"We officially announce that we haven't had any attacks,"
Head of Iran's civil defence agency Gholam Reza Jalali told
Fars, when asked about the report.
Reuters reported the hackers targeted the three banks in
retaliation for their enforcement of Western economic sanctions
against Iran's disputed nuclear programme.
Iran says the programme is aimed at generating electricity
and not, as the United States, Israel and others allege, at
making nuclear weapons. A senior Iranian lawmaker accused the
head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Sunday of passing
confidential information about Iran's nuclear activities to
The Islamic state has beefed up its cyber capabilities after
the nuclear programme came under attack in 2010 by the Stuxnet
computer worm which caused centrifuges to fail at its main
Tehran accused the United States and Israel of deploying
Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said in June that Iran
had detected a planned "massive cyber attack" against its
nuclear facilities, blaming the United States, Israel and
Jalali said Stuxnet was used against Iran to delay the
country's nuclear activities.
"But we see that our activities are successfully continuing
... Our nuclear systems are now immune to such things," Jalali
said, according to Fars.
Security experts say Iran's cyber capabilities are not as
sophisticated as those of China, Russia, the United States or
many of its Western allies.