Computer Virus Could Have Taken Down Iran’s Nuclear Centrifuges

November 19, 2010

Iran (ChattahBox World News)—After computers in Iran, India, Indonesia, and other countries were found to be infected with the Stuxnet worm, analysts began to dissect the program’s inner workings to find out its capabilities, and the final word is grim: The virus makes changes in the speed of rotating motors within a nuclear or other industrial facility. These speed changes can cause centrifuges (which can fuel reactors or bombs) to blow apart, the New York Times reports.

Although analysts have no proof that the Stuxnet virus was intended to stop or slow Iran’s nuclear progress, it’s clear that the worm had the ability to destroy the centrifuges. Reportedly, the Stuxnet worm was programmed to subsequently resume normal operating frequencies after the blowout was completed, the Times reports.

Several computer security analysts who examined the Stuxnet worm found what they believe to be clues leading to accusations that Israel created the virus. One expert found a code called “Myrtus,” which may be a reference to the Book of Esther, “in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them,” the Times notes. In addition, researchers found the numbers 19790509, which some say might refer to May 9, 1979, when a Jewish-Iranian businessman was put to death under charges that he was an Israeli spy. None of these theories have been proven, and the original writer of the virus is still unknown.


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