Further US and Israel Stuxnet ties surface

Further evidence has emerged that the Stuxnet worm, which caused major disruption to Iran’s nuclear programme, was a team effort by Israel and the US – according to the New York Times.

The news, which supports TechEye’s reports on the origin of the computer virus, came from a number of anonymous sources close to the newspaper. These sources stated that Stuxnet was created by Israel and the US as a way to “sabotage” Iran’s growing nuclear power.

This view was also held by a number of security experts, including Symantec and Langer Communications, who reported that the worm was designed to cause maximum damage to the Iranian nuclear enrichment programme by forcing gas centrifuge motors to spin too fast, which can cause them to break apart.

The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, admitted that Stuxnet was successful, ensuring a delay of two years in the nuclear programme. Ahmadinejad also claimed that the worm was launched by enemies of the state.

The New York Times reported that Siemens, which created the SCADA systems for Iran’s nuclear facilities, revealed vulnerabilities in them in 2008 to the Idaho National Laboratory, which is the US’s primary nuclear research centre. 

Siemens also participated with the US Department of Homeland Security in a security study of the PCS 7 control systems, which were, coincidentally enough, targeted by Stuxnet.

It was also revealed that Israel tested the Stuxnet worm on machines and control systems within its Dimona nuclear research centre, giving further assurance of the two countries’ involvement in the attack on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.