Stuxnet destroys Iranian centrifuges

Us Israel Cyberattack on Iran

Cyber attack on Iranian centrifuges successful, now believed to be a joint U.S. - Israeli effort

Tehran, Iran: – computer worm has infiltrated thousands of computers involved in the Iranian nuclear program, destroying thousands of centrifuges that were used to weaponize uranium.

The worm is code named Stuxnet, and is believed to have infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, however, the worm is designed with one specific target in mind – the industrial computers involved in the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It appears to have been developed by a collaborative U.S. – Israeli effort.

The centrifuges begin to spin out of control, while showing pre-recorded normal levels on all gauges, until the centrifuges fly apart.

The worm is designed to extract information from the Iran and send it back to its creators. In other cases however, when infecting a centrifuge control station, it activates a secondary protocol. The centrifuges begin to spin out of control, while showing pre-recorded normal levels on all gauges, until the centrifuges fly apart.

It has come to light this week that Israel built a model of the Iranian nuclear process deep in the Negev desert, where nuclear centrifuges were created to mimic the exact process used by Iran to enrich uranium. A leading military analyst, Avner Cohen, from the Monterey Institute of International Studies believes all signs point to a collaborative US-Israel cyber-attack.

The development of the cyber-attack now can be traced back to the facility of Dimona, in the Negev dessert. However, the closed Iranian network prevented the Stuxnet from being deployed remotely. It appears Stuxnet was deployed via Usb flash drive by Russian contractors who had access to the Iranian facilities.

Siemens and Iran

The Iranian nuclear genesis program is run off of Windows computers running a WinCC/Step7 software engineered by a German company called Siemens. Siemens officially ended its 140 year business relationship with Iran on July 1st, 2010 and will no longer fill orders from them.

This comes just as rumors of military action were becoming louder from the United States, but what is being build as one of the largest, or most damaging, cyber-attacks in the history of the world appears to have changed all that.

“For the long run, while it is impossible to predict, my gut feeling is that Iran will not have the full bomb. The only thing that would push Iran to the bomb would be an attack on Iran.” said Avner Cohen, “I think Iran would ultimately emerge smart enough to avoid confrontation with the world but would insist to keep themselves very close to the bomb, still within the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) claiming the right to a fuel cycle. Whether the west and Israel would be able to live with that, I don’t know.”

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