Iranians’ access to domestic banking services from abroad has been temporarily cut off in aid of “preventing cyber attacks”, according to the official news agency IRNA.
The restrictions were confirmed on Monday, but Iranians outside the country first started reporting difficulties over the weekend. Follow-ups by IRNA with the “competent authorities” – who were not named in its coverage – established that the block on access to mobile and online banking facilities was only aimed at a “limited” number of banks with “the most foreign connections”.
It comes after a number of high-profile cyberattacks on state digital infrastructure. In the latest case, a group calling itself Ghiyam Ta Saraguni (“Uprising Until Overthrow”) hacked into the website of the Islamic Culture And Communication Organization, reportedly gaining access to 40,000 confidential messages and 1.5 million emails.
Also last week, a hacktivist group known as “Predatory Sparrow” caused major disruption at a number of Iranian steel plants.
The state news agency did not publish the names of the affected Iranian banks or which body or official was responsible for the freeze.