Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Iran: Stuxnet worm hit nuclear centrifuges

Stuxnet is the first worm designed to attack industrial systems such as power plants or nuclear reactors.

Article comments

The Stuxnet worm hit centrifuges used to enrich uranium at Iran's nuclear sites, the Reuters news agency quoted Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying.

The statement made yesterday coincided with the bomb attacks made on teh cars of two prominent Itranian nuclear scientists as they left for work. One scientist was killed and his wife seriosuly injured, the other was scientist and his wife were injured.

According to the report on Stuxnet, Ahmadinejad said that enemies of Iran "succeeded in creating problems for a limited number of our centrifuges with the software they had installed in electronic parts," speaking in a news conference. "They did a bad thing. Fortunately our experts discovered that and today they are not able (to do that) anymore," he added.

The comments apparently provide confirmation that Iran's nuclear program was indeed the target of the most talked-about computer worm of the year. Discovered in July, Stuxnet is the first worm designed to attack industrial systems such as power plants or nuclear reactors.

Iran had previously confirmed that the worm affected systems in the country, including non-critical systems at a nuclear reactor. But this is the first time it has said that Stuxnet also affected centrifuges.

Security researchers now believe that Stuxnet had at least two targets: centrifuges such as the ones Ahmadinejad referred to on Monday, and another type of industrial system targeted with what's known as the worm's 417 attack code.

Stuxnet researcher Ralph Langner believes that this second target may have been a turbine at Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Stuxnet is unusual in that it seeks out very specific industrial systems and then tries to disrupt their operations. With Ahmadinejad's comments, we now know what one of those targets was, said Eric Byres, chief technology officer with Byres Security. "We've got a pretty small set of potential victims, and one of the victims is sticking up their hand to say, 'Yeah we got hit.'"

The worm is designed to slow down and then speed up centrifuges, either ruining the uranium being refined or stressing the devices so much that they break, Byres said.

"The thing we don't know right now is what the heck was the second victim," he added.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *