November 14, 2011
New computer virus detected in Iran
A computer virus similar to the Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear program last year has been detected in Iran.
Iran said Sunday that it had found the Duqu computer virus in some Islamic Republic computer systems, but that it has been contained and neutralized, the head of Iran’s civil defense branch, Brig.-Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, told the Tehran Times.
Duqu is designed to gather data such as keystrokes from computer systems that will help it to launch future attacks on the systems, the Symantec company said in a report after the virus was discovered last month.
Stuxnet, the computer worm that some say set back Iran’s nuclear program by several months or years, affected some of Iran’s computer systems and centrifuges used to enrich uranium after it was released last year. The New York Times reported that it was a joint project of Israel and the United States. Iran had to replace 1,000 Stuxnet-damaged centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant at Natanz last year.
The report added that the creators of the Duqu program had access to the Stuxnet source code.
“Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet-like attack,” according to Symantec.