Feeds

Iran accused of hacking nuke inspectors' phones, PCs

'Unusual events' suggest tampering

Remote control for virtualized desktops

United Nations nuclear officials are investigating reports that Iranian spies may have hacked agency phones and laptops that were left unattended during a recent inspection of that country's uranium enrichment facilities, the Associated Press reported.

The news agency cited three unnamed diplomats who said the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency reported "unusual events" that suggested outsiders had tampered with their electronic equipment. The unspecified events happened during the first quarter of this year while the inspectors were touring Iranian facilities, it said.

Inspectors aren't permitted to take their devices with them during inspections, so they typically leave them in hotel rooms. Strict security measures require unattended cellphones and computers to be placed in seamless paper envelopes that are sealed and have writing across the seal and envelope to flag any unauthorized opening.

The diplomats said the Iranians had found ways to bypass the security measures but didn't provide further details.

Olli Heinonen, who resigned last year as the IAEA's deputy director general in charge of investigating Iran's nuclear program, said data stored on laptops is encrypted and that little sensitive material is stored on phones. He speculated that any attempt to access the equipment might have been done in an attempt to plant malware that would infect the agency’s computer networks once the gear was connected.

Iran has been subjected to nuclear agency inspections for almost a decade. Tehran says its nuclear activities are aimed solely at peaceful purposes, but some countries have claimed the real purpose of the enrichment program is to develop a nuclear warhead.

Five industrial plants inside Iran were disrupted by the Stuxnet worm in 2009 and 2010 in an attempt to disrupt the enrichment program by sabotaging its centrifuge arrays, Symantec reported recently. A senior Iranian commander has said that Iran was hit by a second piece of malware, but so far there are no independent research to support that claim.

The AP report is here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.