Hackers did not steal sensitive nuclear information: IAEA

VIENNA Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:30am EST

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano reacts as he attends a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the UN headquarters in Vienna November 29, 2012. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano reacts as he attends a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the UN headquarters in Vienna November 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Herwig Prammer

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VIENNA (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Thursday a hacking incident involving one of its servers was "deeply regrettable" but suggested that no sensitive information related to Iran's atomic activities had been stolen.

Yukiya Amano said the hacking - first reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday - had happened several months ago and that the server concerned had been closed down.

The hackers - a group using an Iranian-sounding name - on Sunday posted scores of email addresses of experts who have been working with the U.N. agency on a website, and urged the IAEA to investigate Israel's nuclear activity.

The U.N. agency did not say who it believed might have been behind the hacking. There has been an increase in suspected Iranian cyber attacks this year, coinciding with a deepening standoff with the West over Tehran's nuclear program.

The most worrying, experts say, were those on Saudi oil firm Aramco - effectively destroying tens of thousands of computers - and Qatari gas export facilities.

Iranian officials have tended to deny involvement. But they say they have continued to come under cyber assault themselves, with systems at Iran's own oil facilities, communications and infrastructure firms suffering problems last month.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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