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Published: April 24, 2012 | 7:36 am
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Iran says that it is involved in a long-running technological war with the United States and Israel. In recent years, Tehran has repeatedly announced it has defused malware in its industrial sector including the highly specialised Stuxnet in 2010, which it said had targeted the country’s nuclear facilities.

This round of cyberattack began on Sunday, Mehr quoted Hamdollah Mohammadnejad, deputy oil minister in charge of civil defence, as saying. He said the ministry and some provincial officers were taken offline, and a special headquarters was set up to confront the attacks.

Iran has recently announced a series of cyberdefense measures spearheaded by the Revolutionary Guards – a unit which already runs every key military programme in Iran and many industries.

In March, the Guard set up what it claims is a hack-proof communications network for its high-level commanders.

Ultimately, Iran says it wants to set up a completely indigenous internet that is also aimed at checking a “cultural invasion” by enemies aimed at promoting dissent and undermining the ruling system.

The Stuxnet virus was reported to have disrupted controls of some nuclear centrifuges. Tehran says its scientists neutralised the malware and it only damaged the laptops of some personnel at a nuclear power plant.

Iran is at odds with Israel and the West over its controversial nuclear programme. The US and its allies accuse Tehran of wanting to develop weapons technology. Iran denies the claims, saying its programme is for peaceful purposes.

Iran has reported other cyber-attacks since, including an infection in April 2011 dubbed “Stars” and a spy virus about which little is known but its name, “Doku.”

Source: AP

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