Second computer worm 'hits Iran'

Apr 25, 2011
Iranians surf the internet at a cybercafe in central Tehran in January. Iran has been hit with new malicious software as part of cyber attacks against the country, a military officer told Mehr news agency on Monday without specifying the target.

Iran has been hit with new malicious software as part of cyber attacks against the country, a military officer told Mehr news agency on Monday without specifying the target.

"Certain characteristics about the 'Stars' virus have been identified, including that it is compatible with the (targeted) system," Gholam Reza Jalali, commander of the Iranian civil defence organisation, told the agency.

"In the initial stage, the damage is low and it is likely to be mistaken for governmental executable files," Jalali said, adding that Iranian experts were still investigating the full scope of the malware's abilities.

He did not say what kind of equipment the virus was targeting or when and how it had been spotted.

Tehran was hit with another computer worm, "Stuxnet," last year, reportedly designed to hurt the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear programme.

Iran has accused arch-foes Washington and Israel of launching Stuxnet, which was publicly identified last June and reportedly mutated and infected at least 30,000 computerised industrial equipment in the following months.

In December, Iran implicitly admitted its uranium enrichment plant in the central city of Natanz, which is regularly inspected by the UN nuclear watchdog, had been the victim of the worm.

Jalali urged the foreign ministry to take appropriate measures amid the ongoing "cyber attacks" against Iran, and said efforts to contain Stuxnet were still ongoing, Mehr reported.

"Confronting the Stuxnet virus does not mean that the threat has been fully removed, since viruses have a certain life span and it is possible that they continue their activity in a different form," he said.

Computer security firm said in November that might have been designed to disrupt the motors that power gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium -- the most controversial work of Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iran's atomic ambitions are at the heart of a conflict between Tehran and the West, which accuses the Islamic republic of seeking to develop a weapons capability under the guise of a civilian nuclear drive.

Tehran vehemently denies the charges.

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Silver_the_Fox
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
Intresting, sounds alot like someone is trying to nuke Iran's nuke program. Peace and a military run country, sounds like an oxymoron to me...
Wake me up when they all go boom...

Silver out.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2011
Well first off, the only reports of this virus come from Iran -- so if you dont mind i'll wait until a respected internet security firm gets a sample of the virus and weighs in. But it was only though a coding bug that struxnet was able to be found in the wild, if we learned our lessons and have decent coders, this new one might not ever get caught in one of the security firms' "honey pot" systems.
6_6
1 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2011
none of you, only for US, we good, you bad. but seriously, ought to be some human rights policy regarding infrastructure.
fmfbrestel
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2011
BTW, Struxnet was an unambiguous military operation, led by the USA and facilitated by Israel. Cyber war isn't some future concept, it is ongoing on many fronts. It would not take much to convince me that this new virus was created by the US military, but i still want to hear details from someone other than Iran.
fmfbrestel
4.6 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2011
6 -- Iran calling a foul on human rights would be rich. We didn't hurt anyone with struxnet, we just broke some uranium enrichment centrifuges. Iranians protest a sham election and they are killed and imprisoned. If this new virus came from us, you can bet it is targeted at their nuclear weapons infrastructure.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2011
No matter who-done-it, it's a precedent for things to come. The West cannot be sure that it will stay on the dominant side forever.
Silver_the_Fox
1 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
Yes we will, in fact, students are learning how to make nuclear arms in their chemistry 1 classes. so, we will soon have an aresenal or WMD's to rival those that existed in the cold war era.

Not really of course, but you get the picture, it wouldn't take much to secretly build-up an arsenal of weapons right, and with today's political turmoil, now is the time to do, since the metaphorical dust is fogging everyone's vision.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2011
it wouldn't take much to secretly build-up an arsenal of weapons


Only one country has ever done it secretly and that was Israel. It is in fact very difficult to do, and even more so to do so secretly. But that is beside the fact that Iran has already failed the secrecy test.

Also dont confuse our media's inability to see the forest for the trees with national intelligence services.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2011
Also dont confuse our media's inability to see the forest for the trees with national intelligence services.
Do you really think they (media and/or services) are independently acting players?
Silver_the_Fox
1 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2011
I do, and while you are correct in stating that only one MODERN Country was successful in building up a secret aresenal of weaponry, look back in time at the countries before us, see the hundreds of thousands of differant groups that secretly stockpiled weapons. See the Isrealites in the Bible, the greek city states did it all the time, the IRA is another one (albeit more recently), and let's not forget the american people BEFORE we were a country. That's another good one. It's easier than you are making it out to be, but harder than how I made it seem.
Cal_Sailor
3.3 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2011
What? Nobody chiming in on how China is pwning the US (and everyone else) by hacking into our infrastructure?
Somebody is serious about screwing up Iran's plans. Their nuclear capabilities (or lack thereof) are a world-wide concern. This current attack doesn't necessarily have to have started in the west.
I would also like to have independent confirmation that this malware exists solely for the Iranians. Malicious Hacker buttholes speak many languages and wave many flags "doing it for teh Lulz."
Silver_the_Fox
1 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2011
My God, we have a winner! I was looking for someone who could win the biggest Tard contest! And you are it!

First off, China only sent probes into EMAIL accounts, so there goes that philosophy, second, it was an inteligance gathering mission, not a shut down or re-routing of data, so the goes yet another one of those theories, next you'll be telling me that aliens hacked the program!

My information came from a report sent out from the DoD to the general public, from the white house, and more specifically, Politico.com.

Game, set, match.
Any questions?
Silver out.
TehDog
5 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2011
Silver, if you think the chinese, and others, are not making serious attempts to penetrate the infrastructure of other regimes, you are mistaken. Do we (as in the west) do it as well, yes we do, as evidenced by stuxnet, a rather nifty piece of s/w.

From what Sophos are saying, it seems to have been carried by PDF or other document files as an attachment, so not too sophisticated an attack, Without an example of the payload it's too early to say who or what is responsible. As an additional note, I have to say that relying on the sources you cite as opposed to those who earn their living at the sharp end is not a good idea.
Silver_the_Fox
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
Did i say we DON'T do it ourselves? Not quite. What I DID say, is that China, as far as we know, has only hacked email accounts. And, all things considered, they would probably seek to aid the Iranians, and thus win an ally with possible nuclear weapons against us or other "Western" countries. That's all, Go to CNN or Politico or even Fox (even if they are more than a little biased) and do a little research, what you find may surprise you more than a little.

But you are right, we do more than a little hacking ourselves, and do we admit officially that we do? Not even close. SOOOO, Kudos.

Any Questions?
Silver out.
MediocreSmoke
1.5 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
BTW, Struxnet was an unambiguous military operation, led by the USA and facilitated by Israel. Cyber war isn't some future concept, it is ongoing on many fronts. It would not take much to convince me that this new virus was created by the US military, but i still want to hear details from someone other than Iran.

First of all, its called Stuxnet there's no "r". Secondly your statement of it being a military operation, especially one so organized, is a complete fabrication based on conjecture. Of course it wouldn't take much to convince you this was the US military, it took literally no evidence to convince you it was the US military before. People like you need to read more and share their opinions less, go polish your gun and make a new aluminum foil cap.
Bigblumpkin36
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2011
Iran will start a war sooner or later, bunch of a-hole haters run their country. Sorry for being free
TehDog
3 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
Go to CNN or Politico or even Fox (even if they are more than a little biased) and do a little research, what you find may surprise you more than a little.

Silver out.


Oh dear (deity of choice, or none), I've seen some silly responses, but that takes the biscuit.
You sir, are a fool.
Any questions?
TehDog
3 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
Did i say we DON'T do it ourselves? Not quite. What I DID say, is that China, as far as we know, has only hacked email accounts.


I can only laugh out loud.
Are you a Red Army intel op? That would explain your position.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2011
while you are correct in stating that only one MODERN Country was successful in building up a secret aresenal of weaponry
I never stated what you suggest.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2011
Somebody is serious about screwing up Iran's plans. Their nuclear capabilities (or lack thereof) are a world-wide concern.
Only in the US we can observe this pars-pro-toto presumption of "threat to US dominance" == "world-wide concern".
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2011
What I DID say, is that China, as far as we know, has only hacked email accounts. And, all things considered, they would probably seek to aid the Iranians, and thus win an ally with possible nuclear weapons against us or other "Western" countries.
Unlike the Western culture of dominance, Chinese culture is about balance. The globe has to be multipolar as opposed to unilaterally dominated.
frajo
2 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2011
Iran will start a war sooner or later, bunch of a-hole haters run their country.
Go get yourself a history book and try to find out how often in the past centuries Iran has started an aggression war.
Sorry for being free
Free of historic knowledge, yes.
Silver_the_Fox
not rated yet Apr 26, 2011
Frajo and TehDog, I appreciate the amount of time and effort you took to make these comments, and to actually post something of relevance to the topic. As always, input from multiple people is always appreciated. But I must disagree with you on some of them.

Only in the US we can observe this pars-pro-toto presumption of "threat to US dominance" == "world-wide concern".


Yes, the US is naught but a paranoid entity that is fast losing prestiege and power in comparison to some of its "allies" and "enemies", but it is not the ONLY one that is worried about Iran. If you look at NATO, it is made up of multiple countries, and for it to do anything, i.e. send a nuclear program watchdog, It needs to be voted on, and for all its pomp and circumstance, the US is still but one vote.

If i am so ignorant on the matters, please send an email containing relevant data on the matter to the email address listed on my profile page. Spam is not appreciated.

Any Questions?
Silver out.
Bigblumpkin36
not rated yet Apr 27, 2011
What I DID say, is that China, as far as we know, has only hacked email accounts. And, all things considered, they would probably seek to aid the Iranians, and thus win an ally with possible nuclear weapons against us or other "Western" countries.
Unlike the Western culture of dominance,
Chinese culture is about balance. The globe has to be multipolar as opposed to unilaterally dominated.


sory im dumb
Bigblumpkin36
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2011
Not not bring up the race card, but i bet ur muslim FRAJO
J-n
5 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2011
Not not bring up the race card

You did though and speculations on that sort of thing really dont belong here on physorg.

No matter your intent (unfortunately i can't see one that does not involve some measure of racism) the comment is far from appropriate.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
Not not bring up the race card, but i bet ur muslim FRAJO
Tell me more of you :)
Modernmystic
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 27, 2011
Not not bring up the race card, but i bet ur muslim FRAJO


Not to bring up semantics, but "muslim" is not a "race"...
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
it wouldn't take much to secretly build-up an arsenal of weapons


Only one country has ever done it secretly and that was Israel.
And the US, and Russia, and Germany, and France. Yes, sometimes there was a little help back and forth, but all had created a successful small scale weapon without help or notice.
Silver_the_Fox
not rated yet Apr 27, 2011
Thanks SH for the supporting input. and MM is right on the whole muslim comment. Mulims aren't a race, they're a civilization/religious group.

Any questions?
Silver out.

(P.S. look up the furry movement, just dont believe EVERYTHING you see on it. Some of the stuff is post-children age, if you catch my drift....)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2011
P.S. look up the furry movement, just dont believe EVERYTHING you see on it. Some of the stuff is post-children age, if you catch my drift....)
The opinion of adults who put on animal costumes might be an important issue to you, however it is completely irrelevant within the context of science discussion, with the only exception possibly being the social or psychological sciences.
GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2011
I love a good mystery.

Since there's no proof about who is doing this, any guess is really more of a probability estimate. With that in mind, I tend to agree that the US Government ranks high in the list of suspects. I am not so sure it would be the millitary though. The NSA or CIA would be a better fit.

However, it's cheap and easy to create a virus, so...

It could be college students in Iran or ouside Iran who's upset about the politics there. It could be a regional enemy State like the Saudi's. The motivation could even be somewhat personal or trade related, as in a bullying tactic or extortion. It could even be a random jokester who's studied in a nuclear physics lab and worked with that kind of equipment, and is messing with things he aught not be messing around with. The tinfoil hat people might even say it's credible that Symantic or McCaffee (ooohh or maybe Microsoft, sssshhhhh) created it. How about an anti-nuke enviro activist college professor? Any of those here?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2011
However, it's cheap and easy to create a virus, so...
Stuxnet was neither cheap nor easy to create. You should see the documentation on it. It is an unbelievable little program.

Israel and the US did it. It's no mystery. The head of Israeli security is a very, very dour man. When he responded to the news on Iran's equipment he was beaming like a father at his son's graduation. The US grabbed the delivery mechanism, an Iranian scientist, loaded up his equipment with the code and drop shipped him home unknowingly carrying a little surprise.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2011
So it was Professor Plum, in the Office, with the Keyboard.

Your theory is sound. The irony here is that whether we did exactly what you said or not, the perceived threat that we are capable of it is obvious around the world. If we did something like this to South Korea the world would never hear about it, so have we? I'm kinda surprised that the news was released from Iran. I mean, why let the culprits know they succeeded?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2011
I'm kinda surprised that the news was released from Iran. I mean, why let the culprits know they succeeded?
Well our news stations seemed to know about it before theirs did. Convenient government sources I'd think, but that's pure speculation on my part and irrelevant.

If you think we're a threat, imagine the cyber warfare potentials of China.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Apr 28, 2011
Stuxnet was very definitely a US/Israeli operation. Go google stuxnet US Israel second or third link is a NY Times piece detailing just about everything we know about it. Siemens cooperated with the US to uncover vulnerabilities in the software that controls the centrifuges. Israel built a bunch of centrifuges identical to the Iranian ones for the sole purpose of testing the virus. We have never denied responsibility for the virus either, just refused comment while praising the outcome.

We did it.
Ober
not rated yet Apr 30, 2011
Slightly off topic, but haven't the chinese been placing silicon hacks into cheap chips the chinese make, and end up on network cards, and comms gear?? I believe the Pentagon did a sweep of their computers, and found such silicon hack chips in the net cards in their PC's. So it's not just Software, but Hardware too that we have to keep an eye on.
I'm surprised that ALL millitary hardware doesn't have to be 100% designed and produced in the same country.
But I guess tenders get the cheapest price, and thus TROJAN chips will make their way in.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2011
Also dont confuse our media's inability to see the forest for the trees with national intelligence services.
Do you really think they (media and/or services) are independently acting players?
!?! sounds like conspiracy theory-
TehDog
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2011
Slightly off topic, but haven't the chinese been placing silicon hacks into cheap chips the chinese make, and end up on network cards, and comms gear?


Simple answer, no. Slightly more complex answer, if they had, white-hats, and others, would have spotted it. I'm aware of the rumours about Huawei, and afaic, they are baseless. I'm not aware of any credible evidence to support the suggestion of h/w backdoors in chinese built network gear.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2011
Go get yourself a history book and try to find out how often in the past centuries Iran has started an aggression war.
I'll name just one of many... Iran was invaded in part because it was fomenting rebellion among the Shiite majority in Iraq. Germany was a similar victim of such insidious aggression after ww1 as Comintern was installing rotfront cells throughout the country which were taking direction directly from Moscow. Which was a principal reason Germany had to invade Russia.

Frajo thinks wars start when a military crosses a border. Technically Iran is experiencing a similar fate- it has been invaded digitally. What recourse does it have? It has an aging and top-heavy military which is becoming politically dangerous as did husseins right before he sent it against Kuwait, only to be obliterated in the desert. Conveniently for both he and the west. THIS is conspiracy.
Jayman
1 / 5 (1) May 01, 2011
Don't know why, but an Islamic Bomb sounds so much more threatening.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
Don't know why, but an Islamic Bomb sounds so much more threatening.
If you are islamophobic, that is.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) May 02, 2011
Don't know why, but an Islamic Bomb sounds so much more threatening.
If you are islamophobic, that is.
-As opposed to USophobic? Authorityphobic?