Al-Jazeera Confirms Iran Nuclear And Industrial Sites Crippled By Stuxnet, Time To Go Long Symantec?

After last week's Stuxnet disclosures, it was only a matter of time before the viral sabotage was flushed into the open, with Iran confirming that it had been in fact attacked. As expected, Al-Jazeera has just confirmed that not only has Bushehr been infected, but so have numerous other industrial sites all over Iran. Yet despite the pervasive attack, "no damage or disruption of nuclear facilities has yet been reported, however." What is surprising is that Iran has made such a major media splash on the topic: one would assume that demonstrating such broad cyberdefensive weakness would not be in the country's favor...

More from Al-Jazeera:

Iran's nuclear agency is trying to combat a complex computer worm that has affected industrial sites throughout the country and is capable of taking over the control systems of power plants, Iranian media reports have said.

Experts from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran met this week to discuss how to remove the malicious computer code, or worm, the semi-official Isna news agency reported on Friday.

Isna said the malware had spread throughout Iran, but did not name specific sites affected.

Foreign media reports have speculated the worm was aimed at disrupting Iran's first nuclear power plant, which is to go online in October in the southern port city of Bushehr.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Rik Ferguson, a senior security adviser at the computer security company Trend Micro, described the worm as "very sophisticated".

"It is designed both for information theft, looking for design documents and sending that information back to the controllers, and for disruptive purposes," he said.

"It can issue new commands or change commands used in manufacturing.

"It's difficult to say with any certainty who is behind it. There are multiple theories, and in all honesty, any of of them could be correct."

Perhaps now is a good time to buy some SYMC: after all, it will be somewhat difficult for Iran to go on an anti-virus program piracy raid mission with everyone focused on the country's troubles. And with Iran suddenly in dire need of legitimate virus protection to go with its extensive Win95-backed infrastructure, could the $12 billion anti-virus company suddenly be an LBO target for those who wish to capitalize on the sales surge of the Norton product suite?