Computer Worm May Have Targeted Iran’s Nuclear Program

Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, reports in an article dated November 15, 2010, that new research indicates that the computer worm Stuxnet may have been specifically engineered to target and attack Iran's nuclear program, "potentially crippling centrifuges used to enrich uranium gas."

According to the Post, "a Stuxnet researcher at Symantec wrote that the software firm had concluded that the worm targeted industrial systems with high frequency converter drives from two specific vendors," one of which is Iranian.  That researcher's blog entry of Symantec's findings can be found here

Additional unrelated research of Stuxnet conducted by German-based security firm Langner Communications, has concluded that "another part of the worm's attack code was configured in a way to target a control system for steam turbines used in power plants, such as those installed at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran."

Ivanka Barzashka, a research associate at the Federation of American Scientists, provided some context on what the Stuxnet findings may mean, if accurate.

"'Centrifuges are delicate pieces of equipment. There is a huge incentive for pushing the machines to operate at the maximum speed allowed by the materials they are made of. In addition, before they reach their maximum operating speeds, centrifuges have to traverse certain "critical frequencies" at which they encounter resonance and can fly apart. Rigging the speed control is a very clever way of causing the machines to fly apart. If Symantec's analysis is true, then Stuxnet likely aimed to destroy Iran's gas centrifuges, which could produce enriched uranium for both nuclear fuel and nuclear bombs.'"

Shortly following the discovery of Stuxnet, analysts concluded that it was likely the product of "a sophisticated entity, namely a government agency."

 

 

The full Washington Post article can be found above or here

 

 

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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