Iran builds firewall against Stuxnet computer virus: minister

A man holds a laptop computer as a cyber-code is projected on him in this illustration photo taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran has developed software to protect the industry against the Stuxnet computer virus, Iran’s communications minister said on Thursday, after accusing Israel in November of a cyber attack on Tehran’s telecommunication facilities.

The Stuxnet virus, which is generally believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, was discovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility in the iranian town of Natanz nuclear site. It was the first publicly known example of a virus used to attack industrial machinery.

“Iran’s university scientists have developed a firewall for industrial automation systems to neutralize industrial sabotage, such as those caused by Stuxnet in the power of networking, and it was successfully tested,” Communications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

In November, Azari-Jahromi said a Stuxnet attack had failed to harm the Iran of the communication infrastructure, and accused Israel of being behind the back.

Israel has refused to comment on whether or not it is involved in a cyberwar on Iran.

In 2013, researchers at Symantec Corp. detected a version of the Stuxnet virus that was used to attack the Iranian nuclear program in 2007.

Tehran agreed in the context of 2015, a deal with world powers to curb the program, but President Donald Trump drew the United States during the past year, with Israel’s backing, and reimposed sanctions against Tehran.

(Story refiled to edit headline)

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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