Israel Silent As Iran Hit By Computer Virus More Lethal Than Stuxnet – Iran’s Critical Infrastructure And Strategic Networks Under Assault

Israel Silent As Iran Hit By Computer Virus More Lethal Than Stuxnet – Iran’s Critical Infrastructure And Strategic Networks Under Assault

     The Times Of Israel (ToI) is reporting late today (Oct. 31, 2018) that the Government of Israel is remaining silent, as a computer virus more lethal and damaging than the Stuxnet virus/malware is hitting Iran’s critical infrastructure and strategic networks. The ToI report adds that the cyber attack began within the past few days, noting that the malware is similar to Stuxnet, but “more violent, more advanced, and more sophisticated.”

     “The report comes hours after Israel said its Mossad intelligence agency had thwarted an Iranian assassination plot in Denmark, and two days after Iran acknowledged Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged. As the ToI notes, this report “follows a string of Israeli intelligence coups against Iran, including the extraction from Tehran in January by the Mossad of the contents of a [highly secretive] vast archive documenting Iran’s [clandestine] nuclear weapons program; and, the detailing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. in September of other alleged Iranian nuclear and missile assets in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.”

     “Remember Stuxnet, the virus that penetrated [and wreaked havoc on] the computers of the Iranian nuclear industry [Spring of 2010],” Israel’s Hadashot News Agency asked. Iran “has admitted in the past few days that it is again facing a similar attack, far more violent, more advanced, and more sophisticated virus than before, that has hit [critical] infrastructure and strategic networks.”

     Iran has thus far not publicly commented on the extent of the damage. Reuters News Agency reported that “on Sunday, that Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Civil Defense Agency said, “Tehran had neutralized a new version of Stuxnet.” “Recently, we discovered a new generation of Stuxnet, which consisted of several parts….and was trying to enter our system,” Mr. Jalali said.

     As the ToI noted, “the Stuxnet virus, uncovered some eight years ago, penetrated Iran’s rouge nuclear program, taking control and sabotaging parts of its enrichment processes by speeding up its centrifuges.”

     For the Iranians of course, and anyone else for that matter, you never really know whether or not your systems are ‘clean,’ once breached. Artificially enhanced malware that changes its signature and pattern, hides when under surveillance, and likely even changes its shape, etc. may well still be lurking in their network — and is the gift that keeps on giving or…….is a digital land mine that can be detonated at a latter time/date.  Getting this ‘Son of Stuxnet’ into Tehran’s critical infrastructure, as well as successfully bugging Rouhani’s cell phone is a major coup for Israeli intelligence; and, one hopes that U.S. intelligence, could repeat, or has conducted similar feats.  The cyber domain is a target rich environment, and a domain that needs to be exploited to the maximum benefit possible for the U.S., and the West.  RCP,

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