The Stuxnet computer worm has infected 30,000 computers in Iran but has failed to "cause serious damage," Iranian officials were quoted as saying on Sunday.
Some 30,000 IP addresses have been infected by Stuxnet so far in Iran, Mahmoud Liayi, head of the information technology council at the ministry of industries, was quoted as saying by the government-run paper Iran Daily.
Meanwhile, experts from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran met this week to discuss how to remove the malicious computer code, or worm, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
The Islamic Republic confirmed over the weekend that computer systems in its power plants have been attacked by the sophisticated worm. It appears the Bushehr nuclear plant has also been infected.
Computer experts told the New York Times that the worm apparently originates from the United States, Israel, Britain, France or Germany.
Stuxnet is a Trojan-horse-type virus which, in theory, aims to cause physical damage as well as to shutg down computer systems. It is able to destroy gas pipes, disrupt the operations of nuclear power stations and cause industrial boilers to explode.
In the past, Stuxnet has shown up in a number of attacks - primarily in Pakistan, Indonesia, India and Russia.
Experts trying to eliminate virus
"The worm has not been able to penetrate or cause serious damage to government systems," telecommunications minister Reza Taqipour was quoted as saying by the Iran Daily.
"No serious damage to industrial systems (by Stuxnet) have been reported in the country," he added.
According to the paper, another telecommunications official, Saeed Mahdiyoun, said "teams of experts had begun to systematically eliminate the virus.
Stuxnet's abilities were first reported last June when a Belarusian company said it found a worm in one of its clients' systems in Iran. The virus was apparently inserted into a local power plant via a portable USB.
Germany's Siemens company, which manufactures control systems for power stations, later reported that no less that 14 of its clients have been infected.
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|Bushehr plant. Also infected?|