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Worm hits worker's computers at Iran nuclear plant

September 26, 2010 13:55

Bushehr plant chief says team inspecting several computers to remove malware, but "has not caused any damage to major systems of plant."

Iranian technicians at Bushehr nuclear power plant

Iran Reactor 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

TEHERAN, Iran — Iran's official news agency reported Sunday that a complex computer worm has affected the personal computers of staff at the country's first nuclear power plant weeks before the facility is to go online.

The IRNA news agency quoted the head of the Bushehr nuclear plant, Mahmoud Jafari, as saying a team is inspecting several computers to remove the malware, but that it "has not caused any damage to major systems of the plant."

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Iran's nuclear agency has been trying to combat the complex computer worm that has affected industrial sites throughout the country for some time.

Experts from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran met this week to discuss how to remove the malicious computer code, or worm, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Friday.

The computer worm, dubbed Stuxnet, can take over systems that control the inner workings of industrial plants. Experts in Germany discovered the worm in July, and it has since shown up in a number of attacks — primarily in Iran, Indonesia, India and the US.

The ISNA report said the malware had spread throughout Iran, but did not name specific sites affected.

Iranian newspapers have reported on the computer worm hitting industries around the country in recent weeks, without giving details. Friday's report also did not mention Bushehr.

The Russian-built plant will be internationally supervised, but world powers remain concerned that Iran wants to use its civil nuclear power program as a cover for making weapons.

Iran denies such an aim and says its nuclear work is solely for peaceful purposes.

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