Security Corner

Jan 21 2011   8:22AM GMT

Stuxnet: Joint U.S.-Israeli Cyberweapon?

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Welcome to the world of cyberwarfare. It’s official: Stuxnet was a US-Israeli effort to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program, according to the New York Times.

[The Israelis] tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.

“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”

Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona [Israel's secret complex--Ed.], the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.

More info from Infosecurity (USA):

The Stuxnet worm was an Israeli-US project developed at the highly secretive Israeli Dimona complex in the Negev desert to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program…

Stuxnet development began in 2008 when Siemens cooperated with the Idaho National Laboratory to identify vulnerabilities in the company’s controllers that operate nuclear centrifuges and other industrial processes. A briefing about the findings was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security for US officials. The implication from the story is that this briefing was used by the Israelis, with US help, to develop the Stuxnet worm at Dimona.

And this is only the beginning…

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