Iran is blaming the fact that Stuxnet is able to still infect thousands of machines that America controls the UN – so the country could not buy the anti-malware necessary to disinfect machines.
The idea is that Stuxnet will roll across the Middle East from thousands of Iranian machines because of the UN embargo.
While this is deeply ironic, given that Stuxnet was probably created by the US and Israel to bring down Iran’s nuclear weapon’s programme, the threat goes to show how bad Iran is at cleaning up the mess.
Stuxnet reportedly set back nuclear development in Iran by five years, probably more effective, and less politically damaging than an air strike.
According to AP, it is only now that Iranian officials have considered that it might be a good idea to clean up their computers, but they can’t.
A senior Iranian intelligence official has claimed that an estimated 16,000 computers were infected by the Stuxnet virus. The Iranian state media quoted a deputy intelligence chief identified as Ahangaran who said that thousands of computers were infected by Stuxnet.
He said that because Iran is facing difficulties in obtaining anti-malware software because of international sanctions, the country has to use its own experts to design the software.
This is completely different from the early days of Stuxnet when Iran claimed that its scientists discovered and neutralised the malware before it could cause serious damage.
The implication is that while Stuxnet exists it will export itself to other computers in the Arab world, thanks to Iran being unable to remove it. The only problem with that theory is that other countries are not subject to the same embargo and have mostly got the virus checkers to remove it.