Reports out of Iran indicate that a massive attack on Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks took place in the last few days by a computer virus even more powerful than the Stuxnet worm that wrought tremendous damage on Iran’s nuclear program.
Israeli officials are refusing to discuss any role they had in unleashing the virus, which has been described as “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated” than Stuxnet.
As the Times of Israel reports, the attacks come just days after Israel assisted Denmark in foiling an assassination plot on an Iranian dissident and reports emerged that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s cellphone was hacked.
“Remember Stuxnet, the virus that penetrated the computers of the Iranian nuclear industry?” the report on Israel’s Hadashot news asked. Iran “has admitted in the past few days that it is again facing a similar attack, from a more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated virus than before, that has hit infrastructure and strategic networks.”
The Iranians, the TV report went on, are “not admitting, of course, how much damage has been caused.”
On Sunday, Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s civil defense agency, said Tehran had neutralized a new version of Stuxnet, Reuters reported.“Recently we discovered a new generation of Stuxnet which consisted of several parts … and was trying to enter our systems,” Jalali said.
Stuxnet crippled Iran’s nuclear weapons program, setting it back several months, or several years, depending on the source. Hopefully, if the report is accurate and the virus is more advanced and sophisticated, the systems it affected will sustain even more damage.
The Stuxnet virus was reported to have been developed jointly by Israel and the U.S. This worm is just one aspect of the “shadow war” being waged by Mossad against the Iranian regime.
Without attributing responsibility to the Mossad, the report mentioned the tapping of Rouhani’s phone, noting that the Iranians “had to switch it for an encrypted model because they understand that someone has been listening to him for days and weeks.”
On Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged intensified efforts to counter enemy “infiltration,” Reuters said.
In a speech to officials in charge of cyber defense, Khamenei said: “In the face of the enemy’s complex practices, our civil defense should… confront infiltration through scientific, accurate, and up-to-date… action,” the report said, quoting Iranian state TV.
Earlier Wednesday, Israeli officials said the Mossad provided its Danish counterpart with information concerning an alleged plot by Tehran to assassinate three Iranian opposition figures living in the Scandinavian country. According to the officials, the Mossad gave Denmark information about a plot to kill three Iranians suspected of belonging to the anti-regime Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz.
The intelligence reportedly provided by the Mossad prompted the arrest of a Norwegian national of Iranian origin earlier this month. Denmark on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to Iran over the incident.
“What Iran hides, Israel will find,” Netanyahu declared in his September UN speech.
If Rouhani was stupid enough to discuss an assassination plot over his cellphone, he deserved to get hacked.
There is more than a “shadow war” happening between Israel and Iran. The IDF has been bombing Iranian bases in Syria for more than a year, attempting to keep Tehran from establishing a permanent presence in the war-torn country. Israel’s daring raid on a warehouse in Tehran in January netted thousands of documents related to their nuclear program. And Trump’s reimposition of sanctions is already hurting the Iranian economy, causing unrest all across the country.
There appears to be mounting pressure on the Iranian regime coming from a coordinated effort by the U.S. and Israel. The end game can only be the end of the rule of the religious fanatics who have held the Iranian people in bondage since 1979.