29 Nov 2010

Iran admits to nuclear facility malware attack

President Mahmud Ahmedinejad of Iran recently said “several” of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities were attacked and damaged by malicious software. According to Admadinejad, the enrichment centrifuges were targeted by “software installed in electronic equipment.”

"They were able to create problems on a limited basis for some of our centrifuges by software installed in electronic equipment," Ahmadinejad told reporters. "Our specialists stopped that and they will not be able to do it again."

The remarks come after several months of speculation that the Stuxnet malware had attacked the facilities. According to an internet security firm, the Stuxnet worm might have been designed to cause the motors use to power gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium to malfunction.

Iranian officials said that the country’s nuclear program was not harmed and that it had not been targeted by Stuxnet. They also said that enrichment work in the country had not been halted.

The Stuxnet malware is widely considered one of the most dangerous current strains. In a recent testimony before Congress, one internet security expert called Stuxnet one of the most complex threats his firm had ever analyzed.