Iran accuses Siemens over Stuxnet virus attack

An Iranian military commander has accused German engineering company Siemens of helping the United States and Israel launch a cyber attack on its nuclear facilities, Kayhan daily reported on Sunday.

Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran’s civilian defence, said the Stuxnet virus aimed at Iran’s atomic programme was the work of its two biggest foes and that the German company must take some of the blame.

Siemens declined to comment.

“The investigations show the source of the Stuxnet virus originated in America and the Zionist regime,” Jalali was quoted as saying.

Jalali said Iran should hold Siemens responsible for the fact that its control systems used to operate complicated factory machinery — known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada) — had been hit by the worm.

“Our executive officials should legally follow up the case of Siemens Scada software which prepared the ground for the Stuxnet virus,” he said.

“The Siemens company must be held accountable and explain how and why it provided the enemies with the information about the codes of Scada software and paved the way for a cyber attack against us,” he said.

‘Guided cyber missile’
Some foreign experts have described Stuxnet as a “guided cyber missile” aimed at Iran’s atomic programme.

Unlike other Iranian officials who have played down the impact of Stuxnet, Jalali said it could have posed a major risk had it not been discovered and dealt with before any major damage was done.

“This was a hostile act against us which could have brought major human and material damages had it not been encountered promptly.”

Iran has given few details of the impact of the virus. It said in September that staff computers at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power station had been hit but that the plant itself was unharmed.

Bushehr — Iran’s first nuclear power station — is still not operational, having missed several start-up deadlines, prompting speculation that it too had been hit by Stuxnet, something Iran denies.

Russia’s ambassador to Nato said in January the virus had hit the computer system at Bushehr, posing the risk of a nuclear disaster on the scale of the 1986 Chernobyl incident in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union.

Some defence analysts say the main target was more likely to be Iran’s uranium enrichment — the process which creates fuel for nuclear power plants or provide material for bombs if processed much further. Western powers accuse Iran, a major oil producer, of seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability, something Tehran denies.

US-based think-tank, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), said that in late 2009 or early 2010 about 1 000 centrifuges — machines used to refine uranium — out of the 9 000 used at Iran’s Natanz enrichment plant, had been knocked out by the virus — not enough to seriously harm its operations. – Reuters

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Hlophe complaint is an eerie echo

But the new complaint against the Western Cape judge president is also unprecedented

Mabuza contract grows by R10m

Eskom’s negotiators in a R100-million maintenance contract came back with a proposal to push up the costs

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour
Advertising

Press Releases

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.