Via the Daily Caller:
The virus, known as Stuxnet, has the ability to send centrifuges spinning out of control and temporarily crippled Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Some computer experts believe Stuxnet was work of Israel or the United States, two nations convinced that Iran wants to turn nuclear fuel into weapons-grade uranium.The threat of Stuxnet is being downplayed by its victims and those with a stake in furthering Iran's nuclear program. They may be right but if Israel is responsible for the virus and has demonstrated that it can not only disrupt Iran's computer systems, who's to say there won't be a far more effective Stuxnet II in the near future?
Iran has acknowledged that the malware — malicious software designed to infiltrate computer systems — hit the laptops of technicians working at Bushehr, but has denied that the plant was affected or that Stuxnet was responsible for delays in the startup of the Russian-built reactor.
The Islamic Republic is reluctant to acknowledge setbacks to its nuclear activities, which it says are aimed at generating energy but are under U.N. sanctions because of concerns they could be channeled toward making weapons. Only after outside revelations that its enrichment program was temporarily disrupted late last year by the mysterious virus did Iranian officials acknowledge the incident.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief representative to the IAEA, cut short attempts by AP to seek comment on possible damage by Stuxnet at Bushehr.
But Rogozin, the Russian envoy, described how engineers at Bushehr “saw on their screens that the systems were functioning normally, when in fact they were running out of control,” conjuring up a frightening dimension to the potential fallout from the virus.
“The virus which is very toxic, very dangerous, could have had very serious implications,” Rogozin told reporters, adding it “could have led to a new Chernobyl.”
Iran's public stance that Stuxnet was a nothing more than a minor inconvenient blip is akin to a football player who knows he needs to bounce up off the turf quickly after a vicious hit in order to save face. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle but I think it's safe to say that this virus did significant damage and you can bet that whoever was responsible is taking a hard look at how to improve it.
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