By Aissam El Hani
By Aissam El Hani
Morocco World News
June 11, 2012
Stuxnet is a computer worm discovered in June 2010 by VirusBlokAda, a little-known security firm based in Belarus. Stuxnet initially spreads via Microsoft Windows, and targets Siemens industrial software and equipment. As the New York Times reported on June 1, it is believed that this virus was developed by Israel and the United States of America in order to sabotage the computer systems at Iran’s nuclear facilities. It was also said that this malware attacks special computer brands that Siemens produces, that are used by the Iranian nuclear platform. Iran at first denied that its computers were infected, but later Iranian officials acknowledged that it had partly infected the computers and other Siemens branded machines.
Moreover, Symantec researchers said in July that nearly 60 percent of all infected PCs, were located in that country. Intelligence and military experts have said that Stuxnet was first tested at Dimona, an Israeli complex, widely believed to be the headquarters of Israel’s atomic weapons program.
Microsoft issued an emergency update to patch the bug that Stuxnet was then known to exploit in Windows shortcuts. However, the newest and the most dangerous virus in all of history was found just this year. This Trojan was found by the Russian giant antivirus company, Kaspersky. According to Reuters, the United States (under former President George W. Bush) began building a complex cyber-weapon to try to prevent Tehran from completing suspected nuclear weapons work without resorting to risky military strikes against Iranian facilities.
The conclusion by the Moscow-based Internet security firm Kaspersky Lab ZAO, which was crafted at the behest of the government fuelled claims that Flame was part of an Israeli-backed campaign of electronic sabotage aimed at Iran, said the Daily Mail.
Another observer, computer security expert Roger Cressey, said the target was likely to be Iran’s nuclear program and its decision-making apparatus, if indeed the virus was the work of the U.S. Whoever has developed this is engaged in very sophisticated intelligence-gathering on computer networks throughout the region. Flame was designed to steal data from computers and this is the reason why numerous files have been reported missing either in Iran or Syria, the most infected by the malware.
Another crucial point is that the New York Times reported that Stuxnet and Flame were written in the same language and had the same targets. Israel, the country that is accused, along with the United States, of being responsible for both malwares, has denied any link with either of them as a spokesman for the Israeli government told the BBC that Moshe Yaalon had been misrepresented. “There are quite a few governments in the West that have rich high-tech [capabilities] that view Iran, and particularly the Iranian nuclear threat, as a meaningful threat – and can possibly be involved in this field,” said the spokesperson. “I would imagine that everyone who sees the Iranian nuclear threat as a significant one, and that is not only Israel, it is the entire Western world, headed by the United States of America, would likely take every single measure available, including these, to harm the Iranian nuclear project.”
Iran responded and its officials say that its home-grown defense could both spot when Flame is present and also clean up infected PCs. Iran’s National Computer Emergency Response Team (Maher) said in a statement that the detection and clean-up tool was finished in early May and is now ready for distribution to organizations at risk of infection said the BBC. In light of the foregoing, one can safely say that the world is witnessing one of the biggest wars of history without the use of atomic bombs or military power but rather with information technology.