Skip to comments.An alarmed Iran asks for outside help to stop rampaging Stuxnet malworm
Posted on 09/29/2010 5:52:44 AM PDT by Errant
Tehran this week secretly appealed to a number of computer security experts in West and East Europe with offers of handsome fees for consultations on ways to exorcize the Stuxnet worm spreading havoc through the computer networks and administrative software of its most important industrial complexes and military command centers. debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources report Iran turned for outside help after local computer experts failed to remove the destructive virus. None of the foreign experts has so far come forward because Tehran refuses to provide precise information on the sensitive centers and systems under attack and give the visiting specialists the locations where they would need to work. They were not told whether they would be called on to work outside Tehran or given access to affected sites to study how they function and how the malworm managed to disable them. Iran also refuses to give out data on the changes its engineers have made to imported SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems, mostly from Germany. The impression debkafile sources gained Wednesday, Sept. 29 from talking to European computer experts approached for aid was that the Iranians are getting desperate. Not only have their own attempts to defeat the invading worm failed, but they made matters worse: The malworm became more aggressive and returned to the attack on parts of the systems damaged in the initial attack.
One expert said: "The Iranians have been forced to realize that they would be better off not 'irritating' the invader because it hits back with a bigger punch."
Looking beyond Iran's predicament, he wondered whether the people responsible for planting Stuxnet in Iran - and apparently continuing to offload information from its sensitive systems - have the technology for stopping its rampage. "My impression," he said, "is that somebody outside Iran has partial control at least on its spread. Can this body stop malworm in its tracks or kill it? We don't have that information at present, he said.
As it is, the Iranian officials who turned outside for help were described by another of the experts they approached as alarmed and frustrated. It has dawned on them that the trouble cannot be waved away overnight but is around for the long haul. Finding a credible specialist with the magic code for ridding them of the cyber enemy could take several months. After their own attempts to defeat Stuxnet backfired, all the Iranians can do now is to sit back and hope for the best, helpless to predict the worm's next target and which other of their strategic industries will go down or be robbed of its secrets next.
While Tehran has given out several conflicting figures on the systems and networks struck by the malworm - 30,000 to 45,000 industrial units - debkafile's sources cite security experts as putting the figure much higher, in the region of millions. If this is true, then this cyber weapon attack on Iran would be the greatest ever.
Eat worms, terror clan!
Debka... < eyeroll > ....
DEBKA - Hope it is true.
Excellent weapon, worth every penny. If we just keep updating this virus, it would be much cheaper than a whole nuclear arsenal.
“The Iranians have been forced to realize that they would be better off not ‘irritating’ the invader because it hits back with a bigger punch.”
sort of like picking a fight with 4chan. Actually this does sort of sound like them. I wonder what the Iranians did to tick them off?
Don’t bring a mullah to a malware fight.
DEBKA has been more right than wrong.
This worm can be defeated by plugging your AC power into a 440v, 3 phase electric circuit. Or, to make it even quicker, place a bobbie pin into the nearest AC outlet.
As the worm turns
If this was the bubba administration he would send help.
O might send help yet.
Must be why their pissant leader met with the new black panthers...to discuss computer worms. Dumb and dumbest.
What an irony... all this talk of striking Iran militarily and the angst of whether Israel may launch said attack, then for Iran to get flanked by something like this... Ha... Ha-ha.... bwaa-haaaahahahahahahahahahah.
Ask allah for help, you bunch of terrorist ragheads.
as long as it eats Iranian networks and doesnt burrow into other world networks .....
While I hope this works I fear containment
This thing came in on the net I suppose. Only stand alone systems with no net connections will survive and even then it may be spread to those by dissidents. They want a 10th century lifestyle in Iran and now they will get it. Just deserts!
Someone opened up a can of worms on them. Wait’ll someone opens up a can of whoopass.
Life, liberty and the pursuit and destruction of totalitarians.
This is getting interesting. Tinfoil interesting. Is it Israel? Is it China practicing to wipe out our communications? It sure looks like somebody doesn’t like Iran! :)
Spread by USB thumb drive containing sexually explicit pictures of camels.
Why wouldn’t Russia do this? They can come in and save the day. (For a small fee of course)
I’ve got a copy of Norton AV they can have... It’s kinda old and there are parts of it still on my HD.
Kind of reminds you of the end of the story in Orson Welles’ broadcast about the martians. Defeated in the end not by superior brute force, but by the tiniest life forms...
I don’t know, but I do think someone’s getting some practice in 21st c warfare.
Maybe they should try "stoning" the computers.
What if the worm isn’t really that effective and Iran is just acting like it is wreaking havoc ... Iran could continue enriching while outside agencies would underestimate their production.
Israel should still physically destroy Iran’s facilities.
Either way, anything is susceptible to corruption, huh?
When all is said and done, they will find an email from a guy in Nigeria.
This is exactly why memory sticks, thumb drives, etc. are forbidden in secure systems here.
That would be a brilliant move by the Iranians, huh?
Independence Day Redux?
While it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch, it is worrying that we could be subject to an equivalent attack.
I am for hire as a consultant to them. Simply gather large amounts of high explosives and place near all nuclear facilities and computer systems. Detonate.
Then the worm will be gone.
Or someone with some updated software to make it work even better.
I am having a hard time believing this story...If this supposed worm is in all of Iran’s networks, then it has surely spread around the rest of the world. We just don’t know it. If it has spread around the world, how come other world’s systems haven’t been affected?
All this opens a can of worms....Someone on their side will eventually figure this out and will back engineer it so they can use it against us and other nations....
Happened here to = Happened to here
Darn, if only I knew SCADA and spoke Farsi I’d make a killing cleaning them up. And does the NSA have anything they want me to drop off while I’m there?
Go Mossad. And why should we not be backing Israel when they are so very clever?
I thought I had read the systems involved are not connected to the internet and the worm was planted with a a thumb drive.
It appears that Israel has more weapons at its disposal than jets. And this worm can burrow underground better than a bunker buster. And uses less fuel.
Rex, I stole your quote for my facebook status. Of course, none of my friends have a clue of what I am talking about.
Don’t worry mullah!
This won’t hurt a bit.
Some one should suggest to Ahmedinajad to pray for the expedited arrival of the 12th Imam so he could help them. Well just a thought just trying to be helpful.