Iran nuclear facilities hit by cyber attack that plays AC/DC”s Thunderstruck at full volume
As far as malicious computer hacking is concerned, the most recent breach of security at Iran”s nuclear facilities may not be very serious… unless you hate the music of Australian rock band AC/DC.
It has been alleged that unidentified computer hackers have forced workers at two of the country’s controversial nuclear facilities to endure AC/DC”s hit song Thunderstruck repeatedly – and at full volume – sometimes in the middle of the night.
Of course, there has been no confirmation of the attack from Iran – the evidence stems from a series of e-mails purporting to be from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.
Affected: The nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz in central Iran has been hit with a worm that affects automated systems… and plays AC/DC”s Thunderstruck
Inspection tour: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects Natanz in 2008. The facility, seen in an aerial photo above right, has been repeatedly hit by malware
An unnamed Iranian scientist e-mailedMikko Hypponen, chief research officer for Finnish Internet security firm F-Secure, saying that the facilities at Natanz and Fordo, near Qom,were hit by a worm.
Apart from disabling the automated network at both sites, the malware seemed to have an interesting side effect of blaring out AC/DC at any given moment.
When contacted by MailOnline, Mr Hypponen confirmed that he had received the e-mails and that he had been e-mailing the scientist about the incident over the weekend.
He sent a redacted copy of the e-mail, which said: “I am writing you to inform you that ournuclear program has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanzand another facility Fordo near Qom.”
The major players: Angus Young, writer and guitarist for AC/DC, above left, and Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer with the Finnish Internet security company F-Secure
Another e-mail made reference to AC/DC”s Thunderstruck being played “on several workstations in the middle of the night with the volume maxed out”.
It”s not the first time that the Iranian nuclear programme has been the target of malware.
The destructive Stuxnet worm has now affected around 60 per cent of computers in Iran, and is widely held responsible for wrecking the centrifuge at the Nantaz nuclear facility.
Iranhas confirmed that work has halted several times at the facility because of “technical issues”, and use of the centrifuge has dropped by 30 per cent.
“Another e-mail made reference to AC/DC”s Thunderstruck being played “on several workstations in the middle of the night with the volume maxed out”
Stuxnet was thought at first to be the work of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, but experts have recently turned the finger of suspicion to point at the U.S.
Many experts believe that the future of warfare will heavily rely on a nation”s ability to “spike” their enemies” computer networks.
Recently the Chinese have been suspected over a series of non-threatening incidents – such as the hacking of a U.S. automated sewerage system, or effectively taking command of two Nasa satellites.
Using music as a weapon has long been a trait of the US military, in conflicts including the invasion of Panama in the 1990s.
Thunderstruck, released in 1990, is among AC/DC’s most famous songs and said to be inspired by guitarist Angus Young’s experience of being on a plane which was struck by lightning.