Iran has arrested an unspecified number of people for allegedly enabling the Stuxnet malware to access to its nuclear command and control systems.
Iran’s intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, told the national Mehr news agency that the ministry had “complete mastery” over government computer systems and was able to counter any online attacks by “enemy spy services”, according to the New York Times.
“All of the destructive activities perpetrated by the oppressors in cyberspace will be discovered quickly and means of combating these plans will be implemented,” Moslehi said.
“The Intelligence Ministry is aware of a range of activities being carried out against the Islamic Republic by enemy spy services.”
The Stuxnet code is a highly sophisticated piece of malware, the first aimed at industrial control systems and possibly written by a Siemens insider, which has caused high concern among security analysts. Last week’s Virus Bulletin 2010 conference devoted half a day to examining the malware, which experts believe is government inspired.
Interestingly, the virus creators appear to be creating new versions of the malware code, according to Iranian state media.
Hamid Alipour, an official at the state-run Iran Information Technology company, said the worm was spreading.
“This is not a stable virus,” he said last week.
“By the time we started to combat it three new variants had been distributed.” Alipour said his company hoped to eliminate it within “one to two months”.
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