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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stuxnet Morphs Into Iranian Stimulus Plan

The Stuxnet malware has set back the Iranian nuclear program by two years, according to a German expert quoted in The Jerusalem Post (h/t @Allahpundit):

The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by two years, a top German computer consultant who was one of the first experts to analyze the program’s code told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

“It will take two years for Iran to get back on track,” Langer said in a telephone interview from his office in Hamburg, Germany. “This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.”
The good news for Iran is that Stuxnet could provide economic stimulus because the Iranians need to purchase all new computers, centrifuges, turbines, and related equipment:
According to Langer, Iran’s best move would be to throw out all of the computers that have been infected by the worm, which he said was the most “advanced and aggressive malware in history.” But, he said, even once all of the computers were thrown out, Iran would have to ensure that computers used by outside contractors were also clean of Stuxnet.

“It is extremely difficult to clean up installations from Stuxnet, and we know that Iran is no good in IT [information technology] security, and they are just beginning to learn what this all means,” he said. “Just to get their systems running again they have to get rid of the virus, and this will take time, and then they need to replace the equipment, and they have to rebuild the centrifuges at Natanz and possibly buy a new turbine for Bushehr.”
Another of those "too good not to be true" stories.

Related Posts:
"Boomerang Bombs" Used Against Iranian Scientists
Your Morning "Too Good Not To Be True" Stuxnet News
Stuxnet Makes Jump From Computers To Humans

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  1. Plus the paranoia it has engendered has likely resulted in the assassination of several top scientists. It's all good.

  2. There is really no reason to replace the centrifuges and the turbine unless there is evidence that they have actually been significantly damaged. No intelligent engineer will simply junk them without trying to evaluate their condition. It is the electronic controls that Stuxnet has screwed up totally, and that is a major repair in itself.

  3. cf: I don't think it was the paranoia that resulted in the assassinations. If stuxnet wasn't created by a U.S. / Israel collaboration, then it was Israel, and if there were any way to decide the outcome of such a bet, I would bet a week's salary that the assassinations were done by Mossad. From what I read, those were some very well executed operations. Applaud for Mossad!

  4. And, of course, all Israel has to do is get Stuxnet -- or its new, beefier big brother -- onto a single piece of that replacement hardware and past Iran's virus sweeps, and it will spread through the whole system once more.

    Wash, rinse, repeat. Now *that* would be too good not to be true.

  5. "It is extremely difficult to clean up installations from Stuxnet, "

    Why do I get the feeling that was written by somebody who would be selling Iran new computers?