Was Iran’s nuclear program “Thunderstruck”? For years now Iran’s nuclear program has been subjected to persistent cyber attacks, code designed to interfere with the hardware at work in that country’s centrifuges and reactor centres in Natanz and elsewhere.While the total impact of these online incursions remains somewhat unclear, it now appears that a bizarre form of hacker humour has been introduced in the form of heavy metal.
Information provided by F-Secure Security Labs today reveal that an Iranian scientist working for the Atomic Energy organisation of Iran (AEOI) reported that a cyber worm affected two facilities (one in Natanz and another near Qom) with “some music playing randomly” at high volumes on workstations during the night: “I believe it was playing ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC,” reports the scientist. The full text of the alleged email is available here.
F-Secure does outline the fact that details of this attack remain unconfirmed, though it would not be the first time that hackers probing Iran’s nuclear facilities have left behind clues with their own brand of wit. The now ubiquitous Stuxnet worm, said to have been deployed by the U.S. and Israel, has been said to contain obscure biblical references within its code. As The Register rightly points out, stealth is generally a desired trait of espionage attacks, and subjecting Iran’s nuclear scientists to shredding guitar solos seems to be the antithesis of that.
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