Published — Wednesday 26 December 2012
Last update 27 December 2012 3:22 am
DUBAI: An Internet virus attacked computers at industrial sites in southern Iran, in an apparent extension of a covert cyber war that initially targeted the country’s nuclear facilities, an Iranian official said.
Iran, the world’s No. 5 oil exporter, has tightened online security since its uranium enrichment centrifuges were hit in 2010 by the Stuxnet computer worm, which Tehran believes was planted by arch-adversaries Israel or the United States.
The unit tasked with fighting cyber attacks, the Passive Defense Organization, said a virus had infected several sites in Hormozgan province in recent months but was neutralized.
“Enemies are constantly attacking Iran’s industrial units through Internet networks in order to create disruptions,” Ali Akbar Akhavan, head of the Hormozgan branch of the organization, was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency yesterday.
“This virus has even penetrated some manufacturing industries in Hormozgan province, but with timely measures and the cooperation of skilled hackers in the province, the progress of this virus was halted,” Akhavan said.
“As an example, the Bandar Abbas Tavanir Co., a producer of electricity in the province and even adjacent provinces, has been the target of Internet attacks in recent months,” he said. Bandar Abbas is the capital of Hormozgan province on Iran’s southern coast and home to an oil refinery and container port.