Iran Says Hackers Targeted Power Plant and Culture Ministry
Iran reported a spree of new cyberattacks on Tuesday, saying foreign enemy hackers tried in recent months to disrupt computer systems at a power plant and other industries in a strategically important southern coastal province as well as a Culture Ministry information center.
Accounts of the attacks in the official press did not specify who was responsible, when they were carried out or how they were thwarted. But they strongly suggested that the attacks had originated in the United States and Israel, which have been engaged in a shadowy struggle of computer sabotage with Iran in a broader dispute over whether Iranís nuclear energy program is for peaceful or military use.
Iran has been on heightened alert against such sabotage since a computer worm known as Stuxnet was used to attack its uranium enrichment centrifuges more than two years ago, which American intelligence officials believe caused many of the machines to spin out of control and self-destruct, slowing the Iranian programís progress.
Stuxnet and other forms of computer malware have also been used in attacks on Iranís oil industry and Science Ministry under a covert United States effort, first revealed in January 2009, that was meant to subvert Iranís nuclear program because of suspicions that the Iranians were using it to develop the ability to make atomic bombs. Iran has repeatedly denied these suspicions.