Stuxnet virus caused harm to Iran’s nuclear program

Computer Virus Pictures, Images and Photos

A few months ago, I wrote about the world’s first cyber super weapon, called Stuxnet. At the time, it was unclear who made it and what, if anything it did. I mentioned then that it appeared to have Israeli involvement and that the target may have been the Iranian nuclear program. Well, a recent NYT article (click here to read it) reported that sources have told them that it was in fact, an Israeli and American made computer virus. It also said that Germany and the UK helped them, although it was not clear if that help was intentional or not and that the target was the Iranian nuclear program.

Since I wrote that article in early October, 2010 (click here to read it), Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed its existence, but said that it only caused “minor damage” to the nuclear program. However, intelligence experts and even people such as Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton have indicated that perhaps the Stuxnet virus has delayed Iran’s program by a few years. It is also unclear whether more damage from this computer virus is still yet to come. Some experts have said that the code of the computer virus is built to stay dormant and can obtain future instructions that will resume its assault.

The NYT article I mentioned above recalled an Israeli request from then President Bush two years ago for bunker-busting missiles. At the time Israel thought this was the only chance it had to hurt Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts. However, even that missile (for which the request was denied) would only delay Iran’s program by about three years. Now it appears that the Stuxnet virus has delayed the program that same amount of time. It allowed Israel and the U.S. to achieve the same result as a military strike without firing a single bullet or missile.

Although Israeli and American officials are seemingly less worried today about Iran’s nuclear program (probably because of the Stuxnet virus), the problem has not gone away. Obviously, no one will confirm any of this, but it will be interesting to see if this virus attacks again and how Western officials will continue to tip-toe around this secret computer virus mission. By the way, the NYT article I linked to above is a very interesting read. It’s long, but worth reading.