Iran has claimed it has developed a firewall that will protect its critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks, including the infamous Stuxnet malware.
It comes after Iran claimed it was attacked by Israel last November, when its telecommunications facilities were allegedly targeted.
Stuxnet is thought to have been created by both Israel and the United States, after it was discovered in 2010 when it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Iran’s Natanz nuclear site.
This was thought to be the first time that malware had been used to attack industrial machinery.
But in 2013 Symantec researchers said they had uncovered a version of Stuxnet that may have first been pushed out as early as 2005.
Iran has responded to these attacks, after Reuters quoted the Iranian communications minister as saying on Thursday, that the country had readied its own cyber defences.
“Iran’s university scientists have developed a firewall for industrial automation systems to neutralize industrial sabotage such as that caused by Stuxnet in power networks, and it was successfully tested,” Communications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi was quoted by the state news agency IRNA and Reuters as saying.
The news that Iran has successfully tested a firewall against threats such as Stuxnet comes as tensions rise between it and the United States.
In 2015 Tehran had agreed a deal with world powers to curb its nuclear program, but President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of that deal in 2018, and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
And there are concerns that these tensions could spill out into military conflict.
The United States for example is known to have deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to “protect American interests.”
And this week Iran was accused in a US military investigation of blowing holes in Saudi oil tankers heading for the United States.
The US has also designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Tehran’s most powerful military institution) as a terrorist organisation.
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