Feeds

Iran accused of hacking nuke inspectors' phones, PCs

'Unusual events' suggest tampering

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?