Second Computer Worm Hits Iranian Nation

By Ed Silverstein April 25, 2011

Iran has once again has been hit by a cyber attack, government officials allege.

An Iranian military officer told the Mehr news agency that it has recently detected malicious software. The specific target of the attack was not immediately known, reports the AFP news agency.

Gholam- Reza Jalali, the commander of the Iranian civil defense organization, told the Mehr news agency that Iranian scientists detected the second instance of malicious software, known as "Stars," according to a report carried on TechZone360.

The Iranian government said it was the target of an earlier computer worm, known as "Stuxnet," during 2010. Last year, Stuxnet infected 30,000 IP addresses in Iran, TechZone360 said.

The claim was made that the earlier worm targeted the country’s nuclear program and Iran claimed those responsible were connected with the United States or Israel. Stuxnet was identified in June.

In December, Iran said its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, was targeted by the worm.

A news agency from Iran said that the country’s “efforts to contain Stuxnet were still ongoing.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the cyber worm damaged computer systems at Iran’s nuclear power plant.

"Confronting the Stuxnet virus does not mean that the threat has been fully removed, since viruses have a certain life span and it is possible that they continue their activity in a different form," an Iranian official told the news agency.

Symantec speculated last year that the Stuxnet virus “may have been designed to disrupt the motors that power gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium – the most controversial work of Tehran's nuclear program,” according to a report from AFP News service.

Many critics of Iran’s nuclear program say the Islamic nation is trying to develop “weapons capability under the guise of a civilian nuclear drive,” AFP adds.

According to an earlier report carried on TechZone360, the Iranian state news agency, IRNA, quoted Jalali as saying that "investigations and studies show that the source of Stuxnet originates from America and the Zionist regime."

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

TechZone360 Contributor

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