back to article Iran admits cyberattack hit nuke programme

The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today seemed to confirm speculation that the Stuxnet worm obstructed his regime's nuclear ambitions. "Several" uranium enrichment centrifuges were damaged by the virus, he told a press conference. "They were able to create problems on a limited basis for some of our centrifuges by …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Danny 2

    Isn't terrorism meant to be condemned?

    It is notable that Ahmadinejad shares Andrew Orlowski's view that the latest Wikileaks releases are rubbish - btw is Orlowski Shia or Sunni? And where is Lewis Page, and does he normally drive motorcycles?

    This is just the first tranche of the diplomatic cables and they already do carry significance. For instance, how the general Yemeni population will react to US drone strikes being disguised as Yemeni, or how the Shia minority in Arabia will react to their despots goading US invasions in the region. War in the Gulf isn't something to be encouraged.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When I want your opinion

      I will give it too you

      Until then save us the effort of reading

  2. Anonymous Coward



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      This joke is bought to you courtesy of Dara O'Briain and 'Mock The Week'

      Yeah, I saw that episode too... ;0)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Huzzah and Kudos...

    I'm willing to entertain the idea that this was the reason this virus was written. The fact that it hit anyone else is probably either cover or coincidence.

    And I think this was a good move. Iran needs a nuke exactly as much as I need to be instantaneously vaporized.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does murdering scientists count as terrorism?

    I guess not, if the USA or Israel is doing it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The West?

    The West? Meaning the USA?

    Oh, but we're way to busy contemplating our own terrorist plots such as the next 911 to bother doing such things in your country. Or, at least that's what you stated, we were the ones that did it to ourselves.

    Please, if we wanted your nuclear crap down, we could do it from the air without you ever knowing it was us.

    I'd like 5 minutes alone with this fool, just five minutes.

  6. Brian Miller

    What? Running critical equipment on Windows??

    Let's see, how to fail dangerously: Use Windows to control dangerous, mission critical equipment, and then of course hook it to a public network.

    News flash, people: don't network those machines at all!

    Network security. It's important. And if you can't get it right, don't plug it in.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit
      Thumb Down


      Windows does not control the hardware, in this case the Siemens PLC does. It's the same as the relationship between the engine management controller in your car and the Windows laptop that connects to it for diagnosis and reprogramming.

      Centrifuges are not dangerous, only their product is. If they under speed they don't work right and if they overspeed they just break. Nor are they mission critical in the way an aircraft control computer or a furnace burner management system is. If they go wrong nobody dies and nobody gets hurt, you just have a delay in product delivery.

      Hooked to a public network? There's no evidence it was nor does the programming station need to be to have been hit by Stuxnet. The programming PC need not be connected to the plant either except during maintenance just as in the engine management example. Stuxnet will infect any Siemens software installations it finds and then wait.

      As you say network security is important. The trouble is even if you used the most vigorous regime [1] Stuxnet would still get through because of the 4 0day vulns it used. The MS bashers will say without a clue of how the real world of control systems works 'don't use Windows' but linux has it's bad hair days too as does OSX and any other system with this level of resources attacking it.

      The fail here was that the attackers were able to know everything about their target and thus were able to craft the attack to get around whatever layers of protection were in place. Different layers or more layers would have been circumvented just the same.

      [1] For example Stuxnet would get through the following:

      Workstation only connected to PLC during maintenance. Workstation not connected to any network. Workstation has current AV updated daily manually. All USB drives [2] used are scanned on a separate PC with a different OS and different AV package every time they are used. Workstation user account is not Admin.

      [2] Or whatever removable media you use to get the AV updates and software changes on.

    2. arkhangelsk

      Apparently, they WEREN'T networked

      ... the virus seems to have quietly ridden onto USB memory sticks used by the scientists, presumably for taking some data home to work on (the temptation is understandable). When they transferred the work documents back to the office ... ouch.

  7. Crofty616

    Assassins on motorbikes...

    Am I the only one who thinks that's pretty bad ass? Sorry to hear about the scientists and all, but damn!

    1. Alex Walsh

      it is

      like something out of a Jason Bourne film innit?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Ah the simple Win...

    "Bearing in mind their backing, i suspect that if Israel decided to go for an overt war against Iran, they would probably win"

    And then when they do and piss of most of the Arab world (Isreal are far more hated than even the US), then watch how well the do against most of these states.

    And as for the asshole going..Ooo lets Nuke them.

    Sure go ahead, commit mass murder and see how long you last without any oil & Gas from the Middle East and Russia (Russia has deep ties with Iran)

  9. Fred Mbogo

    @Brian Miller

    I agree. While ineptitude is the norm amongst large organizations one would ask him/herself why would you connect mission critical equipment to the internetz.

    Me thinks the Israelis probably raided the facility and wrecked the centrifuges and are to save face by blaming cyber attackers.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    You're taking the mickey, right?

    Please tell me you're taking the mickey.

    Stuxnet and its follow ons do not require internet-facing systems.

    They may not even require USB sticks.

    The device used to program PLCs is called (amongst other things) a "programming panel". These days it probably has Windows inside. You connect the "panel" to the plant admin LAN for genuine valid reasons. The panel gets infested with a (by definition undetectable) 0day exploit that is already on the LAN. The panel is then moved (physically or virtually) onto the automation LAN which does not have, has never had, and does not need, a connection to The Internet, and at that point the infected panel also compromises all the relevant boxes on the automation LAN.

    Job done.

    Get a clue Fred, or make yourself like as much of an idiot as Brian did.

  11. James Pickett


    I’m surprised that Dinnerjacket and his chums haven’t explored diversionary excuses for having centrifuges, which are used for everything from juice extraction to testing astronauts*. I guess they don’t get out much.

    *My washing machine has one, too, but so far we haven’t had the weapons inspectors round.

  12. Tom 13

    The Israelis probably weren't responsible for the attack.

    I don't imagine Mossad would muck up something quite that badly. If you attack, you want to make sure you take out either large numbers or key personnel, neither of which seems to be the case. So that means it was probably another botched CIA op.

    Oh and yes, just for the record, I count the scientists as key components in the manufacture of atomic weapons. The centrifuges never hurt anyone, but the people running them could be responsible for killing millions.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surgical strike aimed at disabling a dangerous regime's ability to make nukes.... which they are probably crazy enough to use...

    Or a suicide bombing designed to inflict maximum non-combatant casualties and further the cause of islam?


  14. arkhangelsk

    I'm always surprised at how morals instantly revert when it comes to Israel and Iran

    I'm not saying that Iran's a saint or Israel is all black. But why is everyone cheering over something, that had it happened to any other country, would be blasted as a dastardly and despicable, terrorist cyberattack?

    And why does Israel, which by any standards would be called a rogue state: WMD possession in violation of NPT, using Apaches on civvies, multiple "pre-emptive" attacks on other nations, random terrorist bombings of other nations' nuclear facilities (at least if they did this attack, they had matured a little), even attacking an American ship ... etc, come off squeaky clean so often?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Why does Israel come off squeaky clean?

    Have you seen how much money the Yanks are pumping in there every day to keep Israel financially afloat?

    If they stopped, Israel would be in a far worse position financially than Ireland or maybe even Greece.

    Israel might even have to think about solving their regional political issues without spending a fortune of US taxpayers money on the military stuff they spend it on today.

    Summary: upset Israel, upset the USA.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like