THE NEW YORK TIMES (NYT) has claimed that the Stuxnet worm was a joint Israeli and US effort.
While the virus was penned by the Israelis, it appears that the US played a role in its development and testing.
The virus was tested at Israel's Dimona site, where they use "virtually identical" centrifuges to Iran's for the creation of their own massive nuclear arsenal.
Stuxnet infects Windows-based computers and targets Siemens' Step 7 industrial devices. According to unnamed experts in the NYT article the virus did massive damage to Iran's centrifuges, as well as their nuclear energy plant.
The attack was considered an alternative to an Israeli request for bunker busting bombs which could destroy the plant. It was thought that destroying the equipment could set the programme back three years. However the political fall out would be particularly bad.
In the end it was thought to give the virus attack a go. That way no one could be sure who did the attack and so the repercussions would be limited.
Officially both the US and the Israelis have played down the report. µ
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