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Report Strengthens Suspicions That Stuxnet Sabotaged Iran


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Natanz, Iran nuclear facility

A security man stands next to an anti-aircraft gun as he scans Irans nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, 300 kilometers [186 miles] south of Tehran, Iran, April 2007.

Hasan Sarbakhshian / AP

A new report appears to add fuel to suspicions that the Stuxnet superworm was responsible for sabotaging centrifuges at a uranium-enrichment plant in Iran.

The report, released December 23 by the Institute for Science and International Security, or ISIS, indicates that commands in the Stuxnet code intended to increase the frequency of devices targeted by the malware exactly match several frequencies at which rotors in centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz enrichment plant are designed to operate optimally or are at risk of breaking down and flying apart.

The frequencies of the Natanz rotors were apparently not a secret and were disclosed to ISIS in mid-2008—the earliest samples of Stuxnet code found so far date back to June 2009, a year after ISIS learned about the frequencies. They were disclosed to ISIS by "an official from a government that closely tracks Iran's centrifuge program."

From Wired
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