Adding controversy to an already controversial international development, Iranian officials this week admitted that the Stuxnet worm, one of what security researchers call a new breed of targeted malware attacks, managed to infiltrate the computer systems at the country’s first nuclear power facility.
As eSecurity Planet reports, the malware attack is unique in that it tries to overpower and control the systems it attacks rather than simply surveil and report the data it discovers.
Iranian officials said the worm has spread to other industries within the country and German security researchers have already discovered other incidents of the worm in other countries including Indonesia, Israel, Eastern Europe and the U.S.
The official news agency of Iran confirmed this week that the Stuxnet worm has infested the PCs of staff working at the country’s first nuclear power plant.
According to an AP report, staffers are working to remove the Windows-based malware from “several computers” but thus far the worm has not caused any damage to the major systems used by the plant.
Security analysts say the Stuxnet worm, which first popped up in July, heralds a new era in targeted malware campaigns because it was created specifically to attack Supervisory Control And Data Acquisitions (SCADA) systems used to monitor and control industrial processes, especially critical infrastructure systems used by governments and corporations.