Keith Kahn Harris

professionally curious, communally engaged

Metal jew

Metal used as a weapon?

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Alarabiya has an intriguing story. Apparently a virus attacking Iran’s nuclear programme caused computers to play AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’. It reminds me of the story from the 1990s that an Israeli undercover army patrol replaced the call to prayer tape in a mosque in Hebron with a Sepultura tape.

Here’s the story:

Heavy Metal has been turned into a weapon….at least in Iran. A peculiar computer virus has caught scientists off-guard in Iranian nuclear facilities, but rather than leaving some kind of harmful malware designed to access encrypted files or wipe servers, the unknown perpetrators have instead rocked the scientists with music by iconic Autralian band AC/DC, according to media reports on Wednesday.

In the middle of the night onsite computers suddenly blared AC/DC’s classic hit Thunderstruck at full volume, while also disabling the automation system, Finnish Internet security site F-Secure Security Labs reported, citing an e- mail it said was sent by a scientist inside Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

Mikko Hypponen, Chief Researcher at F-secure, publicly released the letter he received from the unnamed scientist, on the company’s website.

“I am writing you to inform you that our nuclear program has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom” the letter reads.

“There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was playing ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC,” it continues.

The scientist also stressed that he is not a computer specialist, and does not have detailed information on the virus.

Iran’s nuclear program and oil facilities have been subjected to several cyber-attacks that the Foreign Ministry said were launched by hostile governments as part of a broader “soft war.”

Iran accuses the U.S. and Israel of trying to sabotage its technological progress. Both countries say Iran’s nuclear activities may have military intent, an allegation that Tehran denies.

F-Secure Security Labs is, according to its website, involved in analyzing viruses, spyware and spam attacks.

The company has stressed the fact that details of the ‘Thuderstruck’ attack remain unconfirmed.

However hackers have previously left their mark on Iranian nuclear facilities. The Stuxnet worm believed to have been created by Americans and Israelis in 2010 was said to contain biblical codes.

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