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New malware targeting Iranian government

Iranian authorities say they have found virus that attacks government systems

New malware targeting Iranian government
Iranian experts are investigating the 'Stars' virus.

Iranian authorities are claiming they have uncovered another malware that targets government institutions.

An Iranian civil defence official said that it has identified a virus, dubbed ‘Stars', which was targeted at specific government targets.

If confirmed Stars would be the second piece of malware found within a year that was designed to attack Iran institutions, after the Stuxnet worm, which targeted Iranian nuclear facilities, was first found last year.

Gholam Reza Jalali, military head of the Iranian Passive Defence Organisation told the state news agency Mehr that the virus appeared to be crafted to be mistaken for governmental executable files.

"In the initial stage, the damage is low and it is likely to be mistaken for governmental executable files," Jalali said. "Certain characteristics about the 'Stars' virus have been identified, including that it is compatible with the (targeted) system,"

Jalali did not reveal what the targeted system was, but said that the investigation is ongoing.

"The Stars virus has been presented to the laboratory but is still being investigated," he said. "No definite final conclusions have been reached.""

The Stuxnet worm, which was first reported in July last year, is a highly sophisticated malware which was designed to target uranium processing facilities. Iranian authorities admitted that the worm did cause disruption to its nuclear programme. The sophistication of the worm led many security researchers to assert that it was developed by a foreign government.

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