Daily Israel Report

AC/DC Rocks Iran's Nuclear Program

The latest virus to hit Iran's controversial nuclear program allegedly blares out the heavy metal hit 'Thunderstruck' at any given moment
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 7/26/2012, 7:51 PM

Natanz Facility
Natanz Facility
Google Earth

I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track (Thunder)
And I knew there was no turning back (Thunder)
My mind raced, 
And I thought what could I do (Thunder)
And I knew, 
There was no help, no help from you (Thunder)

Reports began circulating on Thursday that Iran's nuclear facilities have been hit with a computer virus that plays the hit song "Thunderstruck" by Australian heavy metal band AC/DC.

Workers allegedly have to endure the song being played unexpectedly at full volume, sometimes in the middle of the night.

There has been no official confirmation of the attack from Iran, but sources cite a series of leaked e-mails purportedly from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.

An unnamed Iranian scientist e-mailed Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for Finnish Internet security firm F-Secure, saying that the facilities at Natanz and Fordo, near Qom, were hit by a worm.

The malware, in addition to blaring out AC/DC at any given moment, also reportedly disables network connectivity at the two sites as an interesting side effect.

Hypponen told the media that he had received the e-mails and that he had been e-mailing the scientist about the incident over the weekend.

He sent a redacted copy of the e-mail to reporters, which said, “I am writing you to inform you that our nuclear program has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom.”

Another e-mail made reference to AC/DC's Thunderstruck being played “on several workstations in the middle of the night with the volume maxed out.”

It’s not the first time that the Iranian nuclear program has been the target of malware.

The destructive Stuxnet worm has now affected around 60 per cent of computers in Iran, and is widely held responsible for wrecking centrifuges at the Nantaz nuclear facility.

Iran has confirmed that work has halted several times at the facility because of “technical issues,” and use of the centrifuges has dropped by 30 per cent.

Stuxnet was thought at first to be the work of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, but experts have recently begun to say the United States is more likely behind the attack.

Earlier this year, Iran was also hit by the robust Flame virus, which was likened to a 'targeted killing' for computer systems. Israel was also immediately accused of developing the virus.

Many experts believe that the future of warfare will heavily rely on a country’s ability to “spike” their enemies’ computer networks -- while rocking them into submission.