Iran Nuclear Agency Not ‘Thunderstruck’ By Virus
AC/DC wasn’t being blasted out at nuclear facilities, Iran says
Iran has denied claims a virus that forced computers to play the AC/DC classic ‘Thunderstruck’ infected systems helping run its nuclear programme.
Last month, F-Secure’s chief research officer, Mikko Hypponen, was sent an email that appeared to be from a scientist working at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), claiming nuclear systems had been targeted by cyber attackers.
The email claimed popular hacking tool Metasploit had been used to penetrate systems and the attackers had access to the body’s VPN. “Our nuclear programme has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom,” the sender said.
Yet AEOI ‘s chief said the suggestion that such a virus existed was untrue, according to ISNA, an Iranian news agency.
“Who seriously believes such a story? It is baseless and there has never been such a thing,” said Fereydoun Abbasisaid, according to the Haaretz news agency.
Confusion over the incident remains, however. Hypponen told TechWeekEurope he had not received any more contact from the supposed scientist at AEOI. Could it have been a prank? “If so, whoever was playing the prank had access to the aeoi.org.ir email address,” Hypponen added.
Iran’s nuclear facilities were famously the target of Stuxnet, the super-worm believed to be the creation of the US and Israel. Recent data from Kaspersky also indicated that Madi, a cyber surveillance tool, was largely focused on breaching Iranian systems, as around three-quarters of infections came from the Middle Eastern state.
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