Iranian media reported that one of Iran’s major steel companies state-owned Khuzestan Steel Company, Iran’s second biggest after Mobarakeh, was forced to halt production after being hit by a cyberattack, apparently marking one of the biggest such assaults on the country’s strategic industrial sector in recent memory. Khuzestan Steel Company said that experts had determined the plant had to stop work until further notice due to technical problems following cyberattacks. Khuzestan Steel CEO Mr Amin Ebrahimi claimed that Khuzestan Steel managed to thwart the cyberattack and prevent structural damage to production lines that would impact supply chains and customers. He said “Fortunately with time and awareness, the attack was unsuccessful & expects everything to return to normal by the end of Monday.”A local news channel, Jamaran, reported that the attack failed because the factory happened to be non-operational at the time due to an electricity outage.A hacking group called Predatory Sparrow targeted three of Iran’s major steel plants by a cyberattack, purportedly forcing one of them to halt production. The group said that it hacked Mobarakeh Steel Company in the central Esfahan province, Khuzestan Steel Company in southwestern Iran near Ahvaz and Hormozgan Steel Company in the south. Khuzestan Steel’s website ksc.ir is still down at this timeKhuzestan Steel Company, based in Ahvaz in the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province, has a monopoly on steel production in Iran along with two other major state-owned firms. Founded before Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, the company for decades afterward had some production lines supplied by German, Italian and Japanese companies.