Iran claims to have discovered a new malicious computer virus attacking its government computers.
Little is known about the code other than its nickname – “Stars” – and the fact that Iran’s cyber sleuths have already found it.
Clearly they are on their guard, after the disastrous effects of last year’s Stuxnet worm, widely thought to have been created by a foreign power with the specific intent of slowing down, or halting, Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.
An official from Iran’s civil defense office said Stars was being investigated.
If it’s anything like Stuxnet, that will take some time. Stuxnet was artfully constructed, designed to confuse and obfuscate. No-one knows for sure where it came from.
What’s guaranteed is that is wasn’t, and won’t be, a one-off. Stuxnet was the first of its kind that got noticed, Stars might be a follow-up salvo, but make no mistake: pretty much every major power is keeping a very close eye on all these developments right now, and recruiting the most skilled computer programmers they can get their hands on.
Cyber warfare is no longer the stuff of science fiction novels. It’s happening right now, but spotting it, and proving conclusively who’s behind which attack, is extremely difficult.
(Via BBC News)