News / Middle East

Iran: Computer Malware Attacked, Failed to Harm Nuclear Plant

Diaa Bekheet

The head of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant has confirmed a computer worm infected some of the facility's software, but says the plant's main systems are all safe.   

Bushehr Project Director Mahmoud Jahfari told state media an attack by the Stuxnet computer worm has had no impact on the operations of the nuclear power plant.

Jahfari said investigations showed that some private software belonging to Bushehr employees had been contaminated.  He added that authorities are working to counter the attacks.  

Iranian authorities had earlier acknowledged the worm has infected systems throughout the country, but said it had caused no serious damage.

Stuxnet, a self-replicating worm, has distinguished itself as the first known to be designed to take over industrial control systems.  It is able to penetrate computer systems not connected to the internet.

The worm was detected earlier this year and has spread around the world.  Iran is believed to be the most heavily affected, suffering an estimated 60 percent of the attacks.

The director of information technology at the Iranian Ministry of Industries and Mines, Mahmud Liai,  told state media "an electronic war has been launched against Iran."   

Several cyber experts point to the sophistication of the worm as an argument it might be the work of a state program, while political observers suggest the same, given that Iran has suffered disproportionately.  

Political Science Professor Said Sadek of the American University in Cairo.

"It is very clear there was an attempt to send a strong message to Iran and its nuclear program by informing the Iranian authorities that their program is not immune and that someone can enter and penetrate and destroy and sabotage the whole process," Sadek said.

Sadek says because of the secrecy of the Iranian government and its tendency to downplay negative developments, it is difficult to tell what the full impact of Stuxnet may be.

The Bushehr plant is not believed to play any significant role in what many Western nations believe is Iran's desire to build a nuclear weapon, a goal Tehran denies.

You May Like

Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursionsi
X
Zlatica Hoke
August 28, 2014 4:07 AM
Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursions

Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid