Feeds

Iranian nuke plants rocked in midnight 'heavy metal blast'

Boffins suffer AC-DC problems as virus defences ramped up

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Iran's military will establish a cyber-defence headquarters, the country's official news agency IRNA reports - just in time to sort out an alleged heavy-metal infection at its nuclear labs.

The centre - staffed by an unspecified number of personnel - "would be commissioned to design and adopt comprehensive approaches in line with cultural onslaught of the enemies", according to Brigadier Seyyed Mas’oud Jazayeri. Iran's Revolutionary Guards are already actively involved in propaganda battles against the influence of Western media in Iran, all the while spreading the Islamic Republic message abroad and limiting the usefulness of social networks used to organise protests in the country.

The new unit could be an extenuation of these activities, rather than an attempt to counter or respond to Stuxnet - the virus that sabotaged machines associated with Iran's controversial uranium enrichment programme - or Flame, the super-espionage tool.

Sanctions prevent Iran from purchasing Western antivirus technology. In response, the country is developing its own homegrown malware-catching technology, the effectiveness of which remains unclear.

The need for Iran to develop security software in the face of continuing electronic assault is all too clear. For example, Finnish software firm F-Secure reports that an email from someone within the network of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) claimed a worm played Thunderstruck by AC/DC at high volume throughout the night. The hacker, it is alleged, used Metasploit to find vulnerable systems. Infection by the worm supposedly forced sysadmins to "shut down the automation network" at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom.

F-Secure is unable to confirm the report beyond being able to say that the email was sent from AEOI's network. Stealth is a primary requirement of cyber-espionage attacks, and the appearance of a worm that turns the volume up to 11 is hardly fitting with this - unless the goal of the malware is to drive scientists and other workers in Iran's nuclear programme to distraction. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.