'IAEA investigating if equipment hacked while in Iran'

Report: Inspectors suspect cell phones, laptops hacked for sensitive information while equipment left unsupervised at facility tours.

May 18, 2011 21:16
1 minute read.
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor

Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor 311 Reu. (photo credit: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)


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The International Atomic Energy Agency is looking into reports from its experts which allege that cellular phones and mobile computers may have been hacked by Iranian officials searching for sensitive information while equipment was left unsupervised while the organization visited Iran's various uranium enrichment facilities, according to a report by the Associated Press.

One diplomat said that the Vienna-based agency is investigating "a range of events, ranging from those where it is certain something has happened to suppositions," all which occurred during the first three months of the year, AP reported.

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He added that the agency was put on alert after inspectors reported "unusual events" and suggested that their electronic equipment may have been tampered with.

The report was confirmed by two other senior diplomats who did not offer any further information. All three officials come from IAEA member states and spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency had no comment on the reports.

Iran's senior envoy to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh "wishes to give no interviews" according to a woman who answered his cellular phone when contacted by AP.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Strict security measures required IAEA inspectors to place their cell phones into paper envelopes which were sealed in a way which would indicate any prohibited opening, an agency official who asked not to be identified told AP. He explained that inspectors must leave cell phones while touring facilities. He said that mobile computers must be locked in bags or sealed in envelopes, just as cell phones, when they are left unsupervised by inspectors.

However, the Iranians have found ways to overcome the strict measures, the diplomat added but did not provide more details.

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