Iran dismisses severity of Narilam malware

Government officials say Symantec's report on the recently discovered Narilam malware, targeting Iran, shows "some misunderstanding" and play down significance and severity of the worm.

Iraninan authorities have played down the severity of the Narilam malware for which Symantec issued a warning last week. 

A blog post by the U.S. security giant warned organizations of potential "chaos" posed by the W32.Narilam malware , and posted a map identifying Iran as the main victim of the threat. The malware reportedly copies itself on infected machines, adds registry keys and spreads through removable drives and network shares. It has been likened to previous high profile virus, Stuxnet, which hit several networks in the Middle East, particularly, Iran.

However, a statement released by the country's cyberemergency team, the Maher Center, on Monday said Symantec's report exhibited "some misunderstanding" about the malware. The Narilam malware was an old one, previously detected and reported online in 2010 by some other parties, the statement said. It also did not have indications of a major threat r a sophisticated piece of computer malware, the Maher Center added.

It added the threat also was not widespread and only able to corrupt databases of some products made by a particular Iranian software company. The malware had been launched in a bid to harm the software vendor's reputation, but the "simple" malware would not pose a threat to general users and needed "no special care", the Maher Center said.

Iran is frequently on the receiving end of cyberattacks. A complex data-stealing malware, Flame, in May hit the country's businesses, universities, and governments, while the Iraninan Offshore Oil Company reportedly accused China and Israel as the main culprits behind an attack on its computer network in October .

This prompted Iran to move to a domestic Internet system , which it says would improve the country's cybersecurity wellbeing.