Cyber Attack Fails to Hack Iranian Science Ministry

Fars News Agency – April 29, 2012

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hackers have failed to penetrate into the Iranian Science Ministry’s computer network, a statement released by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology announced Sunday afternoon, rejecting some media reports alleging that the ministry’s network is down due to a cyber attack.

“Despite the frequent efforts made by hackers, the cyber attack has failed to leave any impact on the data system,” the statement said.

It further praised the proper measures and full preparedness of the relevant departments at the science ministry for repelling the attack.

Various Iranian industrial, nuclear and government bodies have recently come under growing cyber attacks, widely believed to be designed and staged by the US and Israel.

A similar attack was carried out against Iran’s oil ministry on Monday.

According to the oil ministry, the cyber attack was carried out through a virus penetration that damaged users’ hard disks, but failed. Senior Iranian oil ministry officials later announced that their computer systems resumed normal operation on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wide-scale cyber attacks on Iranian facilities started in 2010 after the US and Israel tried to disrupt the operation of Iran’s nuclear facilities through a worm which later came to be known as Stuxnet.

US intelligence officials revealed earlier this month that the Stuxnet malware was not only designed to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program, but was part of a wider campaign directed from Israel that included the assassination of the country’s nuclear scientists.

Stuxnet is the first discovered worm that spies on and reprograms industrial systems. It is specifically written to attack SCADA systems which are used to control and monitor industrial processes.

In September, the Islamic Republic said that the computer worm of Stuxnet infected 30,000 IP addresses in Iran, but it denied the reports that the cyber worm had damaged computer systems at the country’s nuclear power plants.

Iranian top security officials have urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to detect the agents involved in Stuxnet computer worm attack on Iran.

In April Iran announced that it has discovered the Stars virus that is being used as a tool to commit espionage.

That was the second cyber attack waged by enemies of Iran to undermine the country’s nuclear as well as economic and industrial activities.

Security software manufacturer Symantec says parts of the Duqu code base are nearly identical to the infamous Stuxnet worm, “but with a completely different purpose.”

Iran announced last November that it had developed a software program that can control the Duqu spyware.

After wide-scale cyber attacks on Iranian facilities, including its nuclear sites, last year, Iranian officials started planning a proper and well-concerted line of defense against virus attacks.

Earlier in March, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced plans to strengthen its cyber power by establishing a Supreme Council of Cyberspace to defend the country against cyber attacks.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei tasked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the duty of establishing a Supreme Council of Cyberspace.

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