The Stuxnet worm is a fast-spreading malicious computer program that has turned up in industrial programs around the world. Experts dissecting the so-called computer worm have determined that it was precisely calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control, adding to suspicions that it was meant to sabotage Irans nuclear program.
Their conclusion, while not definitive, has begun to clear some of the fog around the worm, a malicious program detected earlier this year primarily in Iran but also India, Indonesia and other countries.
The paternity of the worm is still in dispute, but officials from Israel have broken into wide smiles when asked whether Israel was behind the attack, or knew who was. Several obscure hints hidden deep within its code suggest a possible Israeli origin — or an attempt to deceive investigators.
The forensic work narrowed the range of targets and deciphered the worms plan of attack. Computer analysts said Stuxnet does its damage by making quick changes in the rotational speed of motors, shifting them rapidly up and down.
Its most striking aspect may not have been how sophisticated it was, but rather how sloppy its creators were in letting a specifically aimed attack scatter randomly around the globe. Iran said it had appeared in the computers of workers in its nuclear project.
Those fluctuations, nuclear analysts said in response to the report, are a recipe for disaster among the thousands of centrifuges spinning in Iran to enrich uranium, which can fuel reactors or bombs. Rapid changes can cause them to blow apart. Reports issued by international inspectors reveal that Iran has experienced many problems keeping its centrifuges running, with hundreds removed from active service since summer 2009.
The latest evidence does not prove Iran was the target, and there have been no confirmed reports of industrial damage linked to Stuxnet. Converters are used to control a number of different machines, including lathes, saws and turbines, and they can be found in gas pipelines and chemical plants. But converters are also essential for nuclear centrifuges.
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The malicious program, known as Stuxnet, is designed to disable both Iranian centrifuges and steam turbines, an engineer said.
November 19, 2010
Experts reached the conclusion by dissecting the program suspected of being aimed at Irans nuclear program.
November 18, 2010
Iranian officials announced that a small leak rather than a malicious computer worm caused the setback.
October 6, 2010
Iran has arrested an unspecified number of nuclear spies in connection with a damaging worm that has infected computers in its nuclear program, the intelligence minister said.
October 3, 2010
Just how dangerous has a computer worm and cyberwarfare become?
October 3, 2010MORE ON STUXNET AND: NUCLEAR WEAPONS, SOFTWARE, COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET, IRAN, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, SIEMENS AG
A reference in computer code to the Book of Esther may or may not be a sign of an Israeli origin to the Stuxnet worm.
September 30, 2010MORE ON STUXNET AND: BIBLE, UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, DEFENSE AND MILITARY FORCES, CENTRIFUGES, NUCLEAR WEAPONS, COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET, NATANZ (IRAN), IRAN, ISRAEL, OBAMA, BARACK, BUSH, GEORGE W
For a covert weapon, the Stuxnet worm wasnt subtle; its creators were sloppy and let it scatter around the globe.
September 27, 2010