Tehran, Sept 26 (ANI): The Iranian government agency that runs the country's nuclear facilities, including those the West suspects are part of a weapons program, has reported that its engineers are trying to protect their facilities from a sophisticated computer worm that has infected industrial plants across Iran.
According to The New York Times, the announcement raised suspicions, and new questions, about the origins and target of the worm, Stuxnet, which computer experts say is a far cry from common computer malware that has affected the Internet for years.
Stuxnet, which was first publicly identified several months ago, is aimed solely at industrial equipment made by Siemens that controls oil pipelines, electric utilities, nuclear facilities and other large industrial sites.
According to reports by computer security monitors, although it is not clear whether the main target was Iran or not, the infection has also been reported in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and elsewhere.
Given the sophistication of the worm and its aim at specific industrial systems, many experts believe it is most probably the work of a state, rather than independent hackers.
"The effect and damage of this spy worm in government systems is not serious and that it had been more or less halted," the paper quoted Reza Taghipour, an Iranian top official of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, as saying.
However, another official, Mahmud Liai of the Ministry of Industry and Mines, said that 30,000 computers had been affected, and that the worm was "part of the electronic warfare against Iran." (ANI)