Photo: Flickr/.hj barraza
The Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear program was implanted by an Iranian double agent, as reported by Richard Sale at Industrial Safety and Security Source, In 2009, the malicious code, presumably developed by the U.S. and/or Israel, made its way into Iranian nuclear equipment that controlled the centrifuges to enrich uranium.
The virus seemed designed to “force a change in the centrifuge’s rotor speed, first raising the speed and then lowering it, likely with the intention of inducing excessive vibrations or distortions that would destroy the centrifuge,” according to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).
Former and serving U.S. intelligence officials believe that an Iranian from the group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (M.E.K.) used a corrupted “memory stick.32” to infect the machines at Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.
The M.E.K. has been listed as a “foreign terrorist organisation” since 1997 because of deadly attacks on Americans abroad, but members of the group have been trained at a secret site in Nevada.
U.S. officials consider them “the assassination arm of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service” as they have been connected to the killing of five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007, according to Sale.
Last month the senior Obama officials denied any U.S. involvement in the M.E.K. assassinations, but a former senior intelligence official told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh that the U.S. provides intelligence for M.E.K. operations.
Reuters reported last month the Iranian scientists have succeeded in disabling Stuxnet and getting it out of their machinery, but the virus was effective in setting back Iran’s nuclear progress as the fuel enrichment plant at Natanz had to be shut down for seven days in November 2010.
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