April 25, 2011, 11:57 AM — Iran has intercepted and stopped a second large-scale cyber attack by intercepting a virus no one has ever heard of and of which Iran has offered no evidence.
The attack comes from a virus called "Stars," according to Gholamreza Jalali, an Iranian military official who leads the civil defense organization Passive Defense, which is responsible for defending against sabotage.
Jalali is the same official who called a week ago for legal reprisals against Siemens, the United States and Israel for the Stuxnet attack.
"Fortunately, our young experts have been able to discover this virus and the Stars virus is now in the laboratory for more investigations," Jalali said in a report posted on his organization's web site, according to AP and Reuters reports.
It may be true that Iran is under attack by another Stuxnet-quality virus, but you couldn't tell that from the type or amount of information Jalali let out.
"The virus is congruous and harmonious with the (computer) system and in the initial phase it does minor damage and might be mistaken for some executive files of government organizations," he is quoted as having said (my Farsi is weak and his web site, not surprisingly, doesn't include English translations).
That's great, but could mean anything from "will run on Windows systems" to "can conceal itself as Stuxnet did for two years, pretending to be a legitimate process while taking down as many as 1,000 of the 9,000 centrifuges in the Natanz enrichment plant."
There's never much information about a virus attack this soon after it's first announced. Considering the source of the report and his agenda, I take the report itself with a grain of salt.
Gholam Reza Jalali, Iranian civil defense director