AC/DC Virus Rocks Iranian Nuclear Program, Blasts ‘Thunderstruck’
Dirty deeds, indeed. In a letter released by Mikko Hypponen of Finnish digital security firm F-secure, an Iranian scientist contacted the firm for help with a "music" virus. The virus shut down equipment at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and at an underground research facility in Fordo. Hypponen notes on his blog that the letter was sent to a number of scientists, and that he confirmed it originated on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran's servers. He is a well-known computer virus hunter, and has received similar emails from Iranian officials in the past.
In addition to the shutdown of uranium enrichment equipment and computers, the virus also blasted the song "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC from several computers at full volume. The scientist described the problem in the letter. "According to the email our cyber experts sent to our teams, they believe a hacker tool Metasploit was used. The hackers had access to our VPN. The automation network and Siemens hardware were attacked and shut down. " he said, adding, "I only know very little about these cyber issues as I am scientist not a computer expert. There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was playing 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC."
This is the third public hacking attempt on Iran's nuclear program in two years. In 2010, the Stuxnet virus set the program back several years, according to experts. Earlier this year the program was attacked by a Trojan virus called "Flame" that was described by Russian experts as "probably the most complicated virus ever."
Flame originated in the U.S. with the aid of Israeli scientists, according to the Washington Post. Stuxnet was also believed to be the result of a joint Israeli-American effort. No word has been released as to the origin of the recent attack.
Other than a programmer with a sense of humor and a taste for heavy metal.
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