Security Experts: Possible Israeli Cyber Attack Sabotaged Iran’s Bushehr Reactor
Richard Silverstein - September 22nd, 2010
Though the Stuxnet cyber-attack which likely targeted Iran’s nuclear facilities may’ve begun as early as 2009, computer security experts have only this month published their full analysis of one of the most sophisticated and powerful computers worms ever developed, and what industrial damage it may’ve done.
Stuxnet is malware likely designed to infiltrate Iranian (60% of computers infected were in Iran) industrial computers which controlled numerous automated processes in factory production cycles. The most likely target according to most experts consulted would be Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor complex, which last year was reported by Israeli media to have been sabotaged and faced extensive production delays. Since Bushehr is using Russian-supplied fuel not related to centrifuges or uranium enrichment, it seems unlikely they were the goal. But there clearly is some key industrial process likely targeted at Bushehr and the worm may’ve either destroyed equipment or corrupted a production cycle central to the reactor’s function.
By all accounts. the worm is so advanced, performs so many functions, and operates in such a complex fashion that it can only have been produced by the intelligence agency of a sovereign nation. We can imagine which nations would have the capacity to mount such an operation and the motivation to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. The CIA and Mossad (or IDF military intelligence) spring to mind. My money is either on Israel and a shared operation mounted in some way by both countries.
See also: Cyber-Attack Turns Physical
Chertoff Group: Israel Cyber-Attacks Iranian Nuke Plant With Stuxnet Computer Virus