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Stuxnet computer worm paralysing Iran’s nuclear program

Russian experts and officials have been warning for several months that the Bushehr power plant has become too dangerous to operate because of the Stuxnet infection

…..Iran was forced to shut down its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz last November and removed nearly 1,000 centrifuges because of malfunctions caused by Stuxnet. 

Computer Worm Wreaking Havoc on Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities, NewsMax.com,  27 Apr 2011 , By Ken Timmerman, An internal report by a special intelligence unit in Iran has concluded that the Stuxnet malware computer virus that has infected Iran’s nuclear facilities is so dangerous it could shut down the entire national power grid.

The report, written by the Iranian Passive Defense Organization, chaired by Revolutionary Guards Gen. Gholam-Reza Jalali, states that Stuxnet has so thoroughly infected the operating systems at the Bushehr power plant that work on the plant must be halted indefinitely…

….Ralph Langner, the German computer security expert who first identified the specifics of the malicious code used by Stuxnet, says that the worm contains two “digital warheads” that seek out specific control systems to attack. But its targets are computers driving Iran’s uranium enrichment program, not the control systems at Bushehr, he insists. The larger of the two warheads loads onto S7-415 controllers in Siemens SCADA process control software. While these controllers are found “in power plant turbine control” systems, such as those at Bushehr, Langner now believes the warhead was not programmed to affect those systems.

“Anything that went wrong in Bushehr cannot be attributed to Stuxnet. It may be attributed to other sabotage acts, to stupidity, or whatever,” he told Newsmax in an email.

Because the Iranians reported early on that Stuxnet had infected Bushehr, Langner spent several months investigating what systems Stuxnet might attack at the Russian-built plant, before setting aside that thesis based on his analysis of the worm’s internal code…..

Russian experts and officials have been warning for several months that the Bushehr power plant has become too dangerous to operate because of the Stuxnet infection

…..ran was forced to shut down its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz last November and removed nearly 1,000 centrifuges because of malfunctions caused by Stuxnet. See “Cyberwar Declared on Iran.”

Earlier this month, Iran refueled the Bushehr nuclear power plant and seemed ready to start the reactor, but Jalali’s report has put an indefinite hold on operations there.

The Iranian parliament recently sent a separate report to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei saying that Bushehr had become so expensive and so many years behind schedule that it would be cheaper and quicker to build a new nuclear power plant and shut the Bushehr site definitively, Kahlili said.

Read more on Newsmax.com: Computer Worm Wreaking Havoc on Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities

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April 28, 2011 - Posted by | Iran, technology

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