Computer Worm Targets Iran Nuke Facility–”It’s more likely that Israel did it.”
Stuxnet Computer Worm May Target
Iranian Nuclear Sites, Researcher Says
By Arik Hesseldahl – Sep 24, 2010 4:14 PM PT bloomberg.com
A computer worm that has infected industrial computers around the world may be part of a campaign targeting nuclear installations in Iran, computer-security researchers said.
The highest concentration of affected systems — almost 60 percent — is in that country, according to data from Symantec Corp., the computer-security software maker. The worm’s sophisticated programming and ability to hide itself suggest it may have been built by a government-sponsored organization in a country such as the U.S. or Israel, said Frank Rieger, technology chief at GSMK, a maker of encrypted mobile phones.
He estimated that building the worm cost at least $3 million and required a team of as many as 10 skilled programmers working about six months.
“All the details so far to me scream that this was created by a nation-state,” Rieger said in a telephone interview. Iran’s nuclear facilities may have been targets, said Rieger and Richard Falkenrath, principal at the Chertoff Group, a Washington-based security advisory firm.
Iran, which has the world’s second-largest oil reserves, is under United Nations sanctions because it has refused to curtail uranium enrichment and the development of ballistic missiles that might carry a weapon. The country started a 1,000-megawatt nuclear-power reactor near the city of Bushehr in August.
‘Hides in Windows’
“It is theoretically possible that the U.S. government did this,” Falkenrath said during an interview today with Bloomberg Television. “But in my judgment, that’s a very remote possibility. It’s more likely that Israel did it.”
A message left at the Israeli embassy’s press office wasn’t immediately returned. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is studying the worm, hasn’t identified its origins, a spokeswoman said.Share