I wrote just a few weeks ago about how the computer virus called Duqu was worming through foreign computer networks, running recon for the next Stuxnet style attack. Now Reuters is reporting that a virus has infected the oil control facility on Kharg Island in Iran. Is this the beginning of round two? -Jack
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is investigating a suspected cyber attack on its main oil export terminal and on the Oil Ministry itself, Iranian industry sources said on Monday.
A virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island, the country’s largest crude oil export facility, but the terminal remained operational, a source at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said.
The virus, which is likely to be compared to the Stuxnet computer worm which reportedly affected Iranian nuclear facilities in 2009-10, struck late on Sunday.
It hit the internet and communications systems of Iran’s Oil Ministry and of its national oil company, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. Computer systems controlling a number of Iran’s other oil facilities have been disconnected from the Internet as a precaution, the agency added.
Hamdullah Mohammadnejad, the head of civil defense at the oil ministry, was reported as saying Iranian authorities had set up a crisis unit and were working out how to neutralize the attacks.
IT systems at the oil ministry and at the national oil company were also disconnected to prevent the spread of any virus, the Mehr news agency said.
The oil ministry’s own media network, Shana, quoted a spokesman as saying no major damage had been sustained.