Iran has been targeted by a second computer virus in a “cyber war” waged by its enemies, its commander of civil defense said on Monday. Gholamreza Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the new virus, called “Stars” was being investigated by experts.
“Fortunately, our young experts have been able to discover this virus and the Stars virus is now in the laboratory for more investigations,” Jalali was quoted as saying. He did not specify the target of Stars or its intended impact.
“The particular characteristics of the Stars virus have been discovered,” Jalali said. “The virus is congruous and harmonious with the (computer) system and in the initial phase it does minor damage and might be mistaken for some executive files of government organizations.”
Jalali warned that the Stuxnet worm, discovered in computers at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor last year, still posed a potential risk. Some experts described it as the world’s first “guided cyber missile”, aimed at Iran’s atomic program.
Iranian officials said they had neutralized Stuxnet before it did the intended damage to its nuclear facilities. They blamed Israel and the United States for the virus.
Jalali said Stuxnet might still pose a risk. “We should know that fighting the Stuxnet virus does not mean the threat has been completely tackled, because viruses have a certain life span and they might continue their activities in another way.”
He urged the government to take action against the enemies he said were waging cyber war on Iran.
“Perhaps the Foreign Ministry had overlooked the options to legally pursue the case, and it seems our diplomatic apparatus should pay more attention to follow up the cyber wars staged against Iran,” Jalali said.