March 13, 2012
The BBC claims Iran engineered a sophisticated cyber-attack on its Persian service.
Director-general Mark Thompson said Iran attempted to jam BBC broadcast satellites and overload its London phone lines with automated calls.
“There was a day recently when there was a simultaneous attempt to jam two different satellite feeds of BBC Persian into Iran, to disrupt the Service’s London phone-lines by the use of multiple automatic calls, and a sophisticated cyber-attack on the BBC,” he said.
The BBC provides Farsi-language TV, radio and online services.
“It is difficult, and may prove impossible, to confirm the source of these attacks, though attempted jamming of BBC services into Iran is nothing new and we regard the coincidence of these different attacks as self-evidently suspicious,” he explained.
In February, Thompson said Iranian authorities arrested and threatened the families of BBC journalists in an effort get them to quit the Persian news service.
On March 6, Iranian state television network Press TV accused U.S. and Israeli hackers of attempting to take down its website. Press TV said it was able to foil the attack with security measures.
The hackers also attempted to take down the website in December and again in February. The December attack followed Iran’s propaganda campaign after it safely brought down the CIA’s RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft over Iran and refused to return it to the United States, offering instead a toy replica.
In January, Iran said British technicians operating from Bahrain jammed Republic of Iran Broadcasting channels on the Hotbird satellite. The blocked channels included provincial channels and a number of international channels such as Press TV, Al-Alam, Al-Kowsar, Jam-e Jam and Sahar, Press TV reported.
Israel and the United States were implicated in a plot to unleash the Stuxnet virus on Iranian industrial software and equipment. The software virus is believed to be the largest and costliest development effort in malware history.
It is widely believed Israel and the United States co-developed the virus in Israel specifically to disable Iran’s nuclear technology.