Hackers Hack Iranian Nuclear Lab with AC/DC

Imagine this:  you’re an Iranian nuclear scientists working with yellow cake uranium and centrifuges in a secret underground lab with the goal of creating weapons of mass destruction.  Then suddenly…

AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”–a song from a band banned in Iran–starts blaring out of a series of workstations at maximum volume.  If you’re that scientist, you probably screaming the Arabic equivalent of “WHAT THE F**K?!?”

Then just as suddenly, the music stopped.

This story comes from Mikko Hypponen, a computer security expert, who spoke at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas this week.  He gave a long talk on the Stuxnet virus and the havoc it created for Iran’s nuclear program. He read an email he received from one of the scientists.

There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was the American band AC-DC Thunderstruck. It was all very strange and happened very quickly. The attackers also managed to gain root access to the machine they entered from and removed all the logs.[…]

So, maybe, here what they want to do is show the employees of this organization that your IT department can’t protect you. If your computer plays AC/DC, you know that something’s going on, and your own IT department looks stupid, because they can’t stop it, they can’t keep the malware out. Maybe it’s mind games, or maybe it never happened; maybe this guy was just playing some kind of a joke.

Call it a dirty deed done dirt cheap, yes?

(Via Venture Beat)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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