27 Apr 2011

Iranian government hit with another virus

It appears the Iranian government has been hit with another computer virus, known as Stars, though the damage is not as catastrophic as the Stuxnet virus that attacked the country last year.

According to reports, Gholam-Reza Jalali, head of an Iranian cyber defense agency, said damage from the virus has been minimal and that scientists are currently studying it. The virus is easily mistakable as a government file and was aimed at the country’s nuclear facilities.

Although the Stars virus doesn’t appear to have caused significant damage, the country is still recovering from the Stuxnet virus, which also targeted nuclear facilities. Since the attack, Iran has replaced 1,000 damaged centrifuges at its primary uranium enrichment plant.

"These sabotages - [such] as producing computer viruses and the assassination of our nuclear scientists - are outright criminal and illegal, aimed at preventing Iranians from implementing their peaceful nuclear rights,” said Iranian official Alireza Miryousefi at the United Nations.

Government cyber security is currently a hot topic. Experts estimate that the United States government lacks between 20,000 and 30,000 IT professionals for cyber security positions, according to a report by the National Journal.