March 4, 2011
US Suspected Of Producing Stuxnet
The Windows computer worm Stuxnet, which targets industrial computer software and equipment, has been unleashed by the United States and Israel's Mossad onto Iran's nuclear program, according to a German computer security expert on Thursday.
"My opinion is that the Mossad is involved," Ralph Langner said while discussing Stuxnet analysis at a TED conference in Long Beach, California. "But, the leading source is not Israel... There is only one leading source, and that is the United States."
Many experts believed Israel was behind the Stuxnet attacks in Iran, and Tehran has blamed the Jewish state and the US for the killing of two nuclear scientists in November and January.
The malicious code was created to stealthily overtake control of valves and rotors at an Iranian nuclear plant, according to Langner. "The idea behind Stuxnet computer worm is really quite simple "¦ We don't want Iran to get the bomb," he added.
"It was engineered by people who obviously had inside information," explained Langner.
The Stuxnet worm targets computer control systems made by German tech Siemens and is commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other critical networks.
"The idea here is to circumvent digital data systems, so the human operator could not get there fast enough," said Langner. "When digital safety systems are compromised, really bad things can happen -- your plant can blow up."
Most of the Stuxnet infections have been found in Iran, increasing the beliefs it was intended to sabotage nuclear facilities there. <br>
In a January report by the New York Times, it said US and Israeli intelligence collaborated to develop the computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear bombs.
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