Iran preparing strategic cyber defense plan: official

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The Head of Iran's Passive Defense Organization said that Iranian experts are preparing a strategic cyber defense plan to help the country counter cyber attacks, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Friday.

"In the previous (Iranian calendar) year (which ended on March 19), the country's cyber command was established, and (the formulation of) the cyber defense strategy is now in our agenda," Gholam-Reza Jalali said on Thursday.

"The important point is that we develop mechanisms for cyber defense in a way that we will be able to defend the country against new viruses," Jalali was quoted as saying.

Over the past few years Iran had been the target of numerous cyber attacks, which had been carried out to disrupt the country's industrial systems, but Iranian experts had been able to successfully monitor and counter the threats, he added.

The official said that the focus of the cyber command's activities was on cyber defense and Iran had no plan to launch cyber attacks on other countries.

In May, Iran's media reported that Iranian cyber experts detected and contained a complicated Israeli spy virus.

A computer virus known as "Flame" had targeted Iran's oil industry, the Kayhan daily said, adding that, however, Iranian experts had been able to detect and contain it.

The head of Information Technology Organization of Iran, Ali Hakim Javadi, said earlier that the country's experts had managed to produce anti-virus software that could spot and remove the detected computer virus "Flame."

Javadi said that the indigenous anti-virus software had been capable of detecting the virus and cleaning up the infected computers.

He said that the malware was different from other viruses and was more destructive than Stuxnet.

On April 24, an Iranian oil official said the country's experts had contained cyber attacks against the country's Oil Ministry.

Hamdollah Mohammadnejad, deputy minister in engineering affairs, said "Recently, a few number of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) servers were attacked by a malware, but the cyber security experts of oil industry contained it immediately."

On April 23, the semi-official ISNA news agency said that the virus was identified as "Viper," which had also targeted some other Iranian industrial websites.

In October 2010, Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi announced that Iran had detected and thwarted a virus aimed at infecting the country's nuclear plant system.

Iran said the computer worm, Stuxnet, had infected 30,000 IP addresses in Iran, including the personal computers of the staff at the country's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr. Tehran also claimed that Israel and conglomerate Siemens were behind the infection of its industrial sites.

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