World Bulletin / News Desk
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.
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 Israel.
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 enrichment facility.
Tehran accused the United States and Israel of deploying Stuxnet.
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 Britain.
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.
Human rights lawyer says smuggling networks saw opportunity to profit from those fleeing Syrian conflict, with illegal entries believed to match 40-percent increase in legal entries
Pyongyang claims to have successfully launched satellite into orbit
Four-nation talks aimed at ending Afghanistan's 15-year war has been concluded with a call for direct talks between the government and the Taliban by the end of February.
A suicide bomber riding on a bicycle targeted a vehicle carrying security forces in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing 8.
Of fatalities, 5 were inside 16-story building among those collapsed after magnitude 6.4 tremor strikes south Tainan city
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has in Sri Lanka on Saturday morning, on a four-day official visit.
Satellite images taken this week of North Korea's Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past shortly before a rocket launch
Kashmir Day is observed every year on Feb 5 to express solidarity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination
In 2015, China for the first time has beaten Japan as biggest Asia-Pacific tech spender
US top general in Afghanistan says plan to reduce troops can be adjusted
Turkish member of body overseeing country's peace process says despite failure of house to seal peace expects efforts to continue
Defence ministry says strikes were carried out by the Afghan air force with the support of NATO troops
A three-judge panel in Dhaka, have ruled that Obaidul Haque Taher and Ataur Rahman Noni were involved in the deaths of seven people.
Former rebel leader-turned-congressman concerned that failure to pass law on Muslim south could push one-time largest rebel group to take up arms again
The reforms put the new commands under the direct control of the ruling party's Central Military Commission
National League for Democracy members take seats in parliament to great expectation