An electrical pylon standing beside a building in Istanbul on March 31, 2015, during a massive power outage (Getty Images).

Half of Turkey—44 of 81 provinces, 40 million people including those living in Istanbul and Ankara, suffered a massive power outage that lasted a solid twelve hours. It happened on Tuesday, March 31st.

It happened because Iran wanted it to happen. The blackout in Turkey was caused by a cyber hack that originated in Iran.

This cyber attack was payback, a taste of what Iran has to offer. Everything went down. Computers, airports, air traffic, traffic lights, hospitals, lights, elevators, refrigeration, water and sewage, everything simply stopped. In an instant, Turkey was transported back to the stone ages.

Attacks like this one are caused by malware inserted into computers via an email or a thumb drive that is attached to a computer that is somehow connected to the electric grid. The invading codes respond to commands and are activated by a message—often something as simple as an email. And it doesn’t even have to be an opened email.  The program can be automatic or it can be controlled by an operator, it all depends on the type of hack. That’s how sophisticated these attacks can be.