Iran Admits Stuxnet Malware Affected Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
Stuxnet, possibly one of the true “cyber weapons” has affected the personal computers of the Bushehr nuclear power plant staff according to a Foxnews report:
The project manager at the Bushehr nuclear plant, Mahmoud Jafari, said a team is trying to remove the malware from several affected computers, though it “has not caused any damage to major systems of the plant,” the IRNA news agency reported.
Iranian news claims that “an electronic war has been launched against Iran” but that they have the attack well in hand.
Iranian information technology officials have confirmed that some Iranian industrial systems have been targeted by a cyber attack, but added that Iranian engineers are capable of rooting out the problem.
The director of the Information Technology Council of the Industries and Mines Ministry has announced that the IP addresses of 30,000 industrial computer systems infected by this malware have been detected, the Mehr New Agency reported on Saturday.
A report from the Christian Science Monitor claims that this is the first “cyber weapon” specifically created to attack physical equipment. In this case SCADA command and control of a nuclear facility. German cyber-security expert Ralph Langner, told the Monitor that “Stuxnet is essentially a precision, military-grade cyber missile deployed early last year to seek out and destroy one real-world target of high importance – a target still unknown.”
Well, it seems pretty clear what the target is. Israel has stated time and time again that political negotiations are not working out and that they would strike. Everyone expected an aerial assault, as Israel bombed Syria and Iraq nuclear plants in the past. But with diminishing support for a physical strike, especially from the White House, it would appear that Israel took the high tech route.
Just how effective would a cyber attack against a nuclear facility be? In a simulated power plant cyber attack back in 2007, would be hackers were able to destroy a power turbine. This would have had dire consequences if it happened in real life. Just a note of caution to the people near the Bushehr plant, it may be time to move.