stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Jul 27 21:38:44 AEST 2012

Iranian Scientist Claims U.S. Cyberattack Was … Loud

By WILLIAM J. BROAD http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com

The United States has a rather bizarre history of blasting rock music 
into the ears of presumed enemies, so it seemed plausible when a 
prominent security expert reported Monday that a new cyberattack on 
Iran’s atomic program included workstations erupting in booms 
of “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, an Australian rock band.

In a blog post, Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer of F-Secure, a 
computer security company based in Finland, cited “a series of e-mails” 
he had received from “a scientist working at the Atomic Energy 
Organization of Iran.” He admitted he was unable to confirm any details 
of the alleged attack but said the sender was using the correct e-mail 
address, aeoi.org.ir.

Mr. Hypponen quoted the scientist as saying the music hit “in the middle 
of the night with the volume maxed.”

His report created a sensation as blogs and news reports around the globe 
repeated the claim. ForeignPolicy.com went further, noting on its blog 
that the United States had repeatedly blasted loud music at supposed foes.

For instance, it noted that American troops in 1989 had tried to force 
the Panamanian president, Manuel Noriega, from his refuge in the Vatican 
embassy by bombarding it with loud music. The blog told of military DJs 
taking requests and creating a playlist that included AC/DC’s “You Shook 
Me All Night Long.”

More recently, Foreign Policy said, the United States Psychological 
Operations Company admitted to using heavy metal in Iraq as a way to 
break uncooperative prisoners. And the International Committee of the Red 
Cross, it noted, had reported the use of similar tactics against 
Guantánamo inmates.

Alas, the Iranian episode seems too good to be true.

Specialists in cyberwarfare said the e-mails could have easily been 
faked, including the seeming return address from the Iranian atomic 
program. Simple logic, one expert noted, suggested that an Iranian 
scientist writing such a report to a foreigner might quickly join the 
ranks of the martyrs. Finally, the tone of the alleged e-mails from the 
Iranian scientist seemed suspicious in their self-congratulatory tone 
about the success of the computer attack and its heavy-metal explosion.

“I doubt it,” a senior administration official who closely follows the 
Iranian program said of the cyber claim.


Message sent using MelbPC WebMail Server

More information about the Link mailing list