Iran officials are reportedly claiming that a variant of the Stuxnet worm that disrupted their country’s nuclear program in the late 2000s was used in an attack on their telecommunications infrastructure last week.
In a tweet, Iran’s telecommunications minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said that Israel, "with its record of using cyber-weapons such as Stuxnet computer virus, launched a cyber-attack on Iran… to harm Iran’s communication infrastructures," Reuters reported. "Thanks to our vigilant technical teams, it failed."
On Sunday, General Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organisation, reportedly made similar remarks to reporters, stating that his agency detected "a new generation of Stuxnet" that was launched against Iran several days earlier.
Last Wednesday, a TV report from Israel-based news outlet Hadashot reportedly said that Iranian infrastructure was hit by a sophisticated Stuxnet-based malware; however Israeli officials would not comment on the matter.
Believed to originate from the US and Israel, the StuxNet worm memorably caused major destructive setbacks to Iran’s nuclear program by sabotaging the Siemens-manufactured programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that automated the operation of centrifuges in Iran’s Natanz nuclear facilities.