Iran admits uranium enrichment centrifuges hit by malware


On Monday 29 November 2010, 22:20 SGT


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad admitted Monday that “several” uranium enrichment centrifuges were damaged by “software installed in electronic equipment,” amid speculation Iran’s nuclear activities had come under cyberattack.

“They were able to disable on a limited basis some of our centrifuges by software installed in electronic equipment,” Ahmadinejad told reporters when asked whether Iran’s nuclear programme had faced any problems.

“Our specialists stopped that and they will not be able to do it again,” he added without elaborating on the software thought to have been used.

Computer security firm Symantec said this month that computer worm Stuxnet might have been designed to disrupt the motors that power gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

Iranian officials have insisted that the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme has not been harmed by Stuxnet, and denied there was any halt in the enrichment work.

But the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, said in its latest report last week that a one-day outage had hit Iran’s Natanz enrichment nuclear plant earlier this month.

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