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Iran Arrests 'Spies,' Fights Cyber Attack


Iran's intelligence minister says authorities have arrested what he calls several "nuclear spies."

Iranian state television quotes Heidar Moslehi who announced the arrests Saturday while touting the country's efforts to combat a computer "worm" that has infected Iranian networks. Moslehi said Iran's enemies designed and sent the electronic attack to undermine the country's nuclear activities. But he said his ministry is fighting off the worm.

He did not provide any details about the alleged spies who were arrested, and did not say if they were linked to the cyber attack.

Cyber security experts say the so-called Stuxnet worm appears to be specifically designed to target industrial installations such as power plants.

The head of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant confirmed earlier this week that the worm had infected some of the facility's software. But he said the plant's main systems are safe.

The worm's origins are unclear, although some experts suspect it may be a state-sponsored program.

The malicious computer code also has been detected in systems in other parts of the world, including India and Indonesia, but Iran is believed to be the most hard-hit, experiencing approximately 60 percent of the attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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