Israel tested Stuxnet on Iran, with US help: report

January 16, 2011
An Iranian youth browses at an internet cafe in the city of Hamadan in 2009. US and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop a destructive computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported Sunday.

US and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop a destructive computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The newspaper quoted intelligence and military experts as saying Israel has tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, which apparently shut down a fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges in November and helped delay its ability to make its first nuclear weapons.

The testing took place at the heavily guarded Dimona complex in the Negev desert housing the Middle East's sole, albeit undeclared nuclear weapons program. Experts and officials told the Times the effort to create Stuxnet was a US-Israeli project with the help, knowingly or not, of Britain and Germany.

"To check out the worm, you have to know the machines," a US expert told the newspaper. "The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out."

There has been widespread speculation Israel was behind the Stuxnet worm that has attacked computers in , and Tehran has blamed the Jewish state and the United States for the killing of two nuclear scientists in November and January.

The Times report came as Iran earlier said its controversial uranium enrichment program was progressing "very strongly," just days ahead of a high-profile meeting between Tehran and six world powers over the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

Both the United States and Israel have recently announced they believe the program has been set back by several years. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed to a series of sanctions imposed since June 2009 by the UN Security Council and individual countries.

And Moshe Yaalon, Israel's strategic affairs minister and former military chief, said last month that a series of "technological challenges and difficulties" meant Tehran was still about three years away from being able to build nuclear weapons.

Israel has backed US-led efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability through sanctions, but has also refused to rule out military force.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said international sanctions against Iran would only be effective if they were backed by a "credible" military threat.

The Stuxnet worm apparently included two major parts, one intended to make Iran's nuclear centrifuges spin out of control.

Another secretly recorded normal operations at the nuclear plant, then played those recordings back to the site's operators so all would appear usual during the sabotage operation, according to the Times.

Stuxnet targets computer control systems made by German industrial giant Siemens and commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other critical infrastructure.

Most infections have been discovered in Iran, giving rise to speculation it was intended to sabotage nuclear facilities there.

The report came after Clinton, who was on a five-day trip to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar last week, urged Arab states to stay focused on sanctions against Iran.

The UN Security Council last June imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in a bid to halt its uranium enrichment programme.

Iran says its aims are peaceful, denying charges by and the West that its uranium enrichment work masks a drive for nuclear weapons.

The Islamic republic is set to hold a new round of nuclear talks with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the in Istanbul on January 21 and 22.

Explore further: Iran claims computer worm is Western plot

Related Stories

Iran claims computer worm is Western plot

October 5, 2010

(AP) -- Iran claimed Tuesday that a computer worm found on the laptops of several employees at the country's nuclear power plant is part of a covert Western plot to derail its nuclear program.

Stuxnet worm rampaging through Iran: IT official

September 27, 2010

The Stuxnet worm is mutating and wreaking further havoc on computerised industrial equipment in Iran where about 30,000 IP addresses have already been infected, IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

Iran to unveil new home-built satellite: report

December 24, 2009

Iran will unveil a new home-built satellite in February, a newspaper reported Thursday, amid Western concerns that Tehran is using its nuclear and space industries to develop atomic and ballistic weapons.

Recommended for you

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.

Dutch open 'world's first 3D-printed bridge'

October 17, 2017

Dutch officials toasted on Tuesday the opening of what is being called the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 16, 2011
Hee hee.

This is so funny.

These guys are like Dr. Evil stupid or something.
4 / 5 (4) Jan 16, 2011
Read ...
How can anybody rely on Siemens? Don't the Russians and Chinese have excellent engineers, too?
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 16, 2011
It is and will be a tragedy that so many people will die when Iran becomes " a clear and present danger".
The "religious" goal of securing the coming of the last Imam and consequently Armageddon will trump any sane and jurisprudence.
When the West finally admits to the reality of Jihad then the "Final Battle Between Good And Evil" will occur.
I seriously doubt any other outcome.
I guess the irony is both sides have dubbed the other as The Evil" in this scenario.
I suppose the choice is global enslavement vs. the annihilation of Iran and her allies.
5 / 5 (3) Jan 16, 2011
A battle between good and evil is utter bs. The fact is, both sides would have good people and bad (as you put it, evil) people. What a few extremists call jihad, does not constitute anything to the rest of the world, even others in the same religion. The only thing "the west" needs to realize is we either need to pull out, or end all conflicts in one swoop (I would personally vote for the former rather than the latter).
the neighbors to the east dont want a nuclear iran either. its a bad thing when weapons that disintegrate populations are in the hands of dictators (not that its much better when they are in the hands of democracies or monarchies either mind you).
the moral of the story is:
if you want to sit at the table with the big boys, you have to actually sit at the table and act like a big boy
4 / 5 (4) Jan 16, 2011

The "religious" goal of securing the coming of the last Imam and consequently Armageddon will trump any sane and jurisprudence.
....I guess the irony is both sides have dubbed the other as The Evil" in this scenario.

Why do you put "religious" in quotes? It is a clearly religious goal. Islam is a religion and is completely insane just like all other mythical story-telling religions, such as Christianity. And there is no irony there. Religion, by claiming to have the One Moral Truth, inevitable leads to the conclusion that the faithless hordes are evil, since they don't have Truth. This is why religion is a scourge on the planet and why as I type there are many religious conflicts waging and many people dying due to bizarre fairy tales. We all need to grow up and give up on our invisible deities of choice.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2011
Forget Jesus, or Mahdi, I want Moses to come back. And spank these kids from all three major religions into playing nice..

Bonus points if he comes back as the South Park 'MCP' version..
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2011
"I guess the irony is both sides have dubbed the other as The Evil" in this scenario." - Flartnoid

This was an Israeli/American attack on Iran here. And Israel has been sending assassins to murder Iranians for years.

Iran on the other hand has done nothing of the sort.

Viva Iran.
4 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2011
Iran now has suxnet.

Israel/USA just gave Iran an interesting weapon.

Sounds like it was another "brilliant" Bush Era Plan.

What a pack of losers.

not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
Uh, there's no logical link between a report of US & Israeli nuclear scientists testing the effects of stuxnet and blaming them for writing it: Surely stuxnet would have been secretly tested on appropriate hardware prior to release ??

You might as well blame the French for a spoiler attack on Siemens via a 'false flag' operation...
not rated yet Jan 18, 2011
"I guess the irony is both sides have dubbed the other as The Evil" in this scenario." has to be the dunderheadest thing I have read in a while.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 23, 2011
A real headbuster of a story, and The NYT managed to dig it up without the help of Wikileaks.

So does this mean that it is legal, and not treasonous espionage, like it would have been if Wikileaks made the info available, after it was contributed by an anonymous source?

Just askin'.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.