Iranian authorities have admitted that the so-called ‘Son of Stuxnet’ worm Duqu has been detected at some of their nuclear facilities. State-controlled news agency IRNA says that it’s not yet clear how far Duqu has spread through the country’s nuclear systems, or how bad the damage might be.
Iran has long admitted that it harbours ambitions to develop nuclear power as a domestic energy source, but many in the west claim that the country’s hardline regime is also attempting to develop weaponised nuclear capabilities. Although details about Duqu’s infiltration of Iranian systems are scarce, it’s likely that the worm has – like Stuxnet – specifically targeted key nuclear systems.
There are differences between Stuxnet and Duqu, however. Whereas Stuxnet seemed to be designed to immediately destroy systems, Duqu is apparently a back-door trojan that allows its controllers to monitor systems and then destroy then when they see fit. Duqu, like Stuxnet, has been attributed by some to Israel and the US, although both countries deny involvement.