A new article in the New York Times detailing the damage done to Iran’s civilian nuclear program by the Stuxnet computer worm not only confirms Israel’s role in the development, but adds that the US played a role in its development and testing.
Though officials have declind to confirm this directly, the article describes Stuxnet as a “joint American and Israeli effort” and details its testing at Israel’s Dimona site, where they use “virtually identical” centrifuges in the creation of their own massive nuclear arsenal.
Stuxnet infects Windows-based computers and targets Siemens’ Step 7 industrial devices. They did massive damage to Iran’s centrifuges, as well as their nuclear energy plant, prompting Russian concerns that the worm could cause an “Iranian Chernobyl.”
In addition to damaging Iran’s program, the worm has gone into the wild and infected tens of thousands of computers world-wide, including thousands of computers in the United States. The confirmation of the US role in its development could potentially create a liability problem for the administration, as they would be directly responsible for the damage done to so many systems.