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Iran says Stuxnet virus infected 16,000 computers

A senior Iranian intelligence official said an estimated 16,000 computers were infected by the Stuxnet virus.

The powerful virus targeted Iran's nuclear facilities and other industrial sites in 2010, and Tehran has acknowledged the malicious software affected a limited number of centrifuges -- a key component in nuclear fuel production. But Iran has said its scientists discovered and neutralized the malware before it could cause serious damage.

The semiofficial Fars news agency on Saturday quoted a deputy intelligence chief identified only as Ahangaran as saying 16,000 computers were infected by Stuxnet, but he did not specify whether worldwide or just in Iran.

He said Iran is facing difficulties obtaining anti-malware software because of international sanctions, forcing Iran to use its own experts to design the software.