Iran Arrests 'Nuclear Spies' Amid Stuxnet Worm Scare

It provides few details, says systems are safe
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2010 3:47 PM CDT
Iran Arrests 'Nuclear Spies' Amid Stuxnet Worm Scare
The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is seen, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010.   (AP)

(Newser) – Iran sought to reassure its residents today that the nation's nuclear programs are safe from Stuxnet, which might be the scariest computer virus known to man. The intelligence chief said authorities had arrested "nuclear spies," though he didn't say who, how many, or where they're from, reports the Guardian. He did, however, blame western "spy services" for the highly sophisticated bug, which has infected 30,000 computers at industrial sites—including the Bushehr nuclear reactor.

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"Iran's intelligence department has found a solution for confronting [the worm] and it will be applied," he said. "Our domination of virtual networks has thwarted the activities of enemies in this regard." The announcement could be a sign that the worm has inflicted more damage than the regime has acknowledged, notes the Guardian. The bug also has been found in India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, but so far not in the US. Still, it could provide a "blueprint" for attacks on computers critical to US power plants and electrical grids. See the Washington Post for more on that. (Read more Iran stories.)

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