Iranian nuclear program hit by virus, plays AC/DC

The Western world isn't particularly fond of Iran's nuclear program. That's stating the obvious. Specifically, the Western world isn't sure what to do about the country potentially having nuclear armaments. According to the British agency MI6, the Iranians could be readying their first nuclear missile in as little as two years, as is being discussed on our forums.

It seems that someone is doing something about it, for computers used in Iran's nuclear program have fallen victim to a new virus. The virus has quite literally thunderstruck the computers, turning them on at night and forcing them to belt out AC/DC's 1990 song "Thunderstruck". The news comes from a letter sent to Finnish company F-Secure by an Iranian scientist. According to the scientist the virus has appeared at the Natanz Uranium enrichment plant in central Iran, and at another facility in Fordo, to the south-west of the capital city of Tehran.

Reportedly the virus has turned off automatic system operations, in addition to playing an excellent song repeatedly. The equipment that has been affected was supplied by the German Siemens Corporation, though has been taken out of operation due to the virus. It is worth pointing out that there is no way to verify the sender. We do know that it came from a server operated by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which does seem to make sense. The scientist wrote the following in the letter concerning the song.

“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,"

This could be the third time the Iranian nuclear program has been disrupted. In 2010, a virus known as Stuxnet set the program back at least two years. Earlier this year another virus was found, called 'Flame'. The virus was credited as being one of the most complicated ever, and was meant for spying on the web in Iran and the Middle East. From the sound of things it isn't as big an issue as the other two might have been, but being thunderstruck in the middle of some delicate research probably isn't great either.

Source: RT

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53 Comments

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yeah lots of jokes and laughs guys
i don't know off hand what type of reactors they have etc
but the concept of screwing with computers at a nuclear plant
is unacceptable by anyone for any reason.
What if one of these virus's was a major factor in another criticality event ?
I don't care much about the people over there good or bad but i wouldn't
wish a Chernobyl incident on my worst enemy.

You guys around here have no class at all !
Laughing at them ? seriously ? You guys should be ashamed of yourself !

And I can't see how this country can't do what everyone else does either.
Have a look at how many nuclear reactors there are in how many countries.
It would shock people how many exist and how many more are on their way soon.
And its strange how everyone gets to do it except certain countries the USA does not like..

I am Not PCyr said,
yeah lots of jokes and laughs guys
i don't know off hand what type of reactors they have etc
but the concept of screwing with computers at a nuclear plant
is unacceptable by anyone for any reason.
What if one of these virus's was a major factor in another criticality event ?
I don't care much about the people over there good or bad but i wouldn't
wish a Chernobyl incident on my worst enemy.

You guys around here have no class at all !
Laughing at them ? seriously ? You guys should be ashamed of yourself !

And I can't see how this country can't do what everyone else does either.
Have a look at how many nuclear reactors there are in how many countries.
It would shock people how many exist and how many more are on their way soon.
And its strange how everyone gets to do it except certain countries the USA does not like..

They don't actually have that kind of nuclear power. The plants that are being targeted precede nuclear power. They are enrichment plants full of dozens or even hundreds of centrifuges used for enriching fissile material that isn't naturally unstable enough for use as fuel and definitely not bombs.

The issue with Chernobyl was it's design and the fact that it was a graphite moderated reactor cooled by water. Newer reactors use water as a means to absorb neutrons, no graphite tipped control rods. Other issues were the lack of a full containment design due to cost and the fact the gen II reactors were, for the most part, built to be very powerful not safe.

The large part of the contamination (that still exists today) is from the graphite on the control rods tips. When the steam blew the reactor and the core melted, the graphite became hot enough to ignite and was launched out of the core into the surrounding. The graphite left in the reactor and the chunks that launched into the surrounding area continued to burn, the graphite smoke was highly irradiated and could easily be carried by the wind to deposit alpha and beta particles across Europe. Also small particles of the fuel were carried with that. That led to heavy metal concerns along with x-ray and gamma radiation concerns from the decay of the fuel particles.

Had it not been for the graphite moderation medium, Chernobyl would have been only a local disaster and would have been much less of an issue overall. Newer reactors have full containment vessels, much better SCRAM procedures, don't use graphite, and a multitude of other improvements. Even in the event of a critical core being shut down (or not being able to be shut down) very little radiation will contaminate the local environment.

Even Fukushima wasn't that bad. The media played it up quite a bit. They mislabeled the doses as seiverts, not milliseiverts. There's a huge difference. Some were even using the rad measurement which is obsolete and inaccurate. Others used the gray which is even more inaccurate for measuring something like that.

So yes, jokes. Lots of them because Iran has nothing and honestly, who cares if they nuke their own country anyway. One less problem for the world. Now, if only Washington would build a reactor that fails...

KCRic said,

The issue with Chernobyl was it's design and the fact that it was a graphite moderated reactor cooled by water. ...

Thank you, tired of explaining that it was the worst possible reactor design, with the worst possible safety measures. Pebble bed reactors, originally designed in Europe in the 40s are almost(nature loves to prove absolutes as fallacies of human understanding) unable to meltdown...

Simply awesome!!

What kind of dimwits do they have running their IT departments? If their security keeps getting penetrated that easily and often, then where are they improting the people with enough intelligence to help them make a bomb?

Behold! The real purpose of Stuxnet and flame is discovered! And it wasn't the US or Israel, it was the AUSTRALIANS!

mikeyx12 said,
Why do their computers have speakers, let alone speakers set to maximum during the night?

I call BS.

Indeed.
In fact by default, Windows server has disabled the audio service.

mikeyx12 said,
Why do their computers have speakers, let alone speakers set to maximum during the night?

I call BS.

They might not be speakers like you expect. Indeed back in the 'old' days when we had access to direct BIOS calls, you could actually play music through the system speaker (case speaker) on the motherboard. Mostly it was just used for a BEEP when the BIOS POST'ed or as a system event notification.

sagum said,

They might not be speakers like you expect. Indeed back in the 'old' days when we had access to direct BIOS calls, you could actually play music through the system speaker (case speaker) on the motherboard. Mostly it was just used for a BEEP when the BIOS POST'ed or as a system event notification.


you still can play by the bios speaker, it takes time to get it right, but the APIs are still there in Windows to do it.

sagum said,

They might not be speakers like you expect. Indeed back in the 'old' days when we had access to direct BIOS calls, you could actually play music through the system speaker (case speaker) on the motherboard. Mostly it was just used for a BEEP when the BIOS POST'ed or as a system event notification.

I'm aware of that, but it's not 1990 and they don't use 20yr old computers.

Wow that is crazy! It reminds me of the part in The Avengers when Iroman hacks the PA speaker system on Black Widows aircraft to blast AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill" during the fight.

So why is it funny for iranian nuclear programs to fail but the US is allowed to have it. Im more afraid of trigger happy redneck americans having access to nuclear anything then i am of iran.

Colin McGregor said,
So why is it funny for iranian nuclear programs to fail but the US is allowed to have it. Im more afraid of trigger happy redneck americans having access to nuclear anything then i am of iran.

Heh it's the usual phantom Arab enemies who can attack us and terrorize everyone all over the place method So we have to whack em!

Colin McGregor said,
So why is it funny for iranian nuclear programs to fail but the US is allowed to have it. Im more afraid of trigger happy redneck americans having access to nuclear anything then i am of iran.

there's no "trigger happy redneck americans" that have a way to launch a nuke on their own.... so your frears are unfounded

neufuse said,

there's no "trigger happy redneck americans" that have a way to launch a nuke on their own.... so your frears are unfounded

were you asleep during bush?

neufuse said,

there's no "trigger happy redneck americans" that have a way to launch a nuke on their own.... so your frears are unfounded

Maybe if you've read how they forgot about a few nukes on a military plane and it stood on a simple lightly guarded airfield for a few days - that can change soon

citan said,

Maybe if you've read how they forgot about a few nukes on a military plane and it stood on a simple lightly guarded airfield for a few days - that can change soon

Well, being careless is not the same as being a trigger happy redneck. The ones that fit the stereotype, I really hope are kept far away from such equipment.

citan said,

Heh it's the usual phantom Arab enemies who can attack us and terrorize everyone all over the place method So we have to whack em!

It's hard not to feel insecure with the Iranian government and its stance on some subjects:

1 - Israel must be destroyed;
2 - US is the big Satan;
3 - Their funding of terrorism (Hezbollah) that has plagued Lebanon for over 30 years and cause a civil war.

Colin McGregor said,
So why is it funny for iranian nuclear programs to fail but the US is allowed to have it. Im more afraid of trigger happy redneck americans having access to nuclear anything then i am of iran.
If you don't understand it then you really need to sail your ship off the edge of the Earth my friend...

Awesome, a bunch of young IT guys hired by the CIA or whatever other great agency harrasing the plant and think that's so cool!

I don't think that the virus was intended to do any serious damage. Just some hacker mastermind with a lot of time on his hands who did it for lulz. Because they was apparently able to infiltrate the systems on site, they could have done a lot more damage if they wanted to rather than just blasting AC/DC in the middle of the night.

AC/DC? That's like doing them a favor. I would have put some Justin Bieber or One Direction. They'd probably press the self-destruct button to end the torture.

PmRd said,
AC/DC? That's like doing them a favor. I would have put some Justin Bieber or One Direction. They'd probably press the self-destruct button to end the torture.

A true export hit

GS:mac

Love It! Can't wait for the Iranian scientists to complete their work and then have a virus detonate the missiles while in the silos or on the launch pads.

Is it me or is the article wrong when it says the computers were "literally thunderstruck". Wouldn't that mean they were hit by lightning?

Tekkerson said,
Is it me or is the article wrong when it says the computers were "literally thunderstruck". Wouldn't that mean they were hit by lightning?

I was wondering about that myself. I decided to go with it anyway as a sort of double entendre where the second meaning is the correct one, but if anyone else feels the same way I can change it.

Tekkerson said,
Is it me or is the article wrong when it says the computers were "literally thunderstruck". Wouldn't that mean they were hit by lightning?

How would been struck by LIGHTNING mean that they were THUNDERSTRUCK?

You see the difference?

Tekkerson said,
Is it me or is the article wrong when it says the computers were "literally thunderstruck". Wouldn't that mean they were hit by lightning?
Thunder isn't lightning.

xbamaris said,
Why the hell are computer systems at NUCLEAR power plants internet connected anyway!?

to get updates of course . and watch porn .. oh wait .. maybe that is against their religion ... them maybe to get ... what do you mean?! ... very few computers are NOT connected to the net ... I think even the Shunkworks have pc's on the net ... someone stole some plane schematics

xbamaris said,
Why the hell are computer systems at NUCLEAR power plants internet connected anyway!?

Ahh my friend, back before every PC were connected to the internet we still had viruses. They were still able to hop across computers.

xbamaris said,
Why the hell are computer systems at NUCLEAR power plants internet connected anyway!?

Who said the infection came from the Internet ? I remember they said Stuxnet infections were from usb devices.

exotoxic said,
Iran should definitely be getting ready to fight back.

To be honest, thinking about it... how do they fight back? It'd have to be in cyberspace. If I was Iran, I sure as hell wouldn't trust any computers in the missiles for a real life warhead.
What happens if the missile has a virus that sends them back to the launch location ?

MightyJordan said,
Whoever made that virus deserves a freaking medal.

Not an AC/DC fan, but that is hilarious. You've been...THUNDERSTRUCK!

MightyJordan said,
Whoever made that virus deserves a freaking medal.

Next week, the computers stop playing AC/DC and start playing Nyan Cat all the while flashing 'u mad bro' meme' on the screens.

MightyJordan said,
Whoever made that virus deserves a freaking medal.

I imagine Iron Man blaring it a he flies down and destroys their missile! Haha. ( I realize this isn't saying there is a missile so calm down people)

sagum said,

Next week, the computers stop playing AC/DC and start playing Nyan Cat all the while flashing 'u mad bro' meme' on the screens.

Wow that would be insanely hilarious!