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By Hossein Jaseb
TEHRAN | Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:20pm EST
(Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it had detected the Duqu computer virus that experts say is based on Stuxnet, the so-called “cyber-weapon” discovered last year and believed to be aimed at sabotaging the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites.
The head of Iran’s civil defense organization told the official IRNA news agency that computers at all main sites at risk were being checked and that Iran had developed software to combat the virus.
“We are in the initial phase of fighting the Duqu virus,” Gholamreza Jalali, was quoted as saying. “The final report which says which organizations the virus has spread to and what its impacts are has not been completed yet.
“All the organizations and centers that could be susceptible to being contaminated are being controlled,” he said.
News of Duqu surfaced in October when security software maker Symantec Corp said it had found a mysterious virus that contained code similar to Stuxnet.
While Stuxnet was aimed at crippling industrial control systems and may have destroyed some of the centrifuges Iran uses to enrich uranium, experts say Duqu appeared designed to gather data to make it easier to launch future cyber attacks.
Symantec said: “Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet-like attack.” Instead of being designed to sabotage an industrial control system, the new virus is designed to gain remote access capabilities, it said in a report issued last mont