Iran claims it's under attack from a second worm

Iran claims it has been targeted by a new malicious worm, following the discovery last year of the Stuxnet worm that infiltrated its nuclear facilities.

Commander of the Iranian civil defence, Gholam Reza Jalali told the Mehr news agency that a virus called "Stars" had been discovered and was being investigated by insecurity experts.

"Fortunately, our young experts have been able to discover this virus and the Stars virus is now in the laboratory for more investigations," Jalali was quoted as saying.

"The particular characteristics of the Stars virus have been discovered," Jalali said. "The virus is congruous and harmonious with the system and in the initial phase it does minor damage and might be mistaken for some executive files of government organizations."

Jalali did not specify what the intended target of the worm may have been, but Stuxnet infected computers at Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor last year. Stuxnet is believed to have been crafted to fiddle with Iran's nuclear ambitions by military hackers in Israel and the United States.

Jalali admitted that Stuxnet could still pose a threat to the Iranian nuclear programme, which the country claims is concerned with providing energy rather than weaponry, a claim treated with suspicion in the West

"We should know that fighting the Stuxnet virus does not mean the threat has been completely tackled, because viruses have a certain life span and they might continue their activities in another way," Jalali told the news service.