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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

America Suspected Russia Behind Stuxnet

While most industry observers thought that the United States and Israel were behind the Stuxnet computer worm which attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, recently the rumors emerged that it might have been Moscow plan.


Dr. Yannakogeorgos, a cyber defense analyst with the American Air Force Research Institute, said during the interview to the local media that the one weak point in the theory that the United States and Israel attacked the Iranian nuclear problem with Stuxnet is that they denied this fact when they would not have had to. He also pointed out that the Russians could have also carried out the attack, since they are apparently not that happy about an Iranian indigenous nuclear capability, though they are helping build it.

The Russian Federation had a really good reason not to want Iran to get its paws on nuclear technology. For instance, back in 1995, Chechen rebels planted a so-called “dirty bomb” in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow. Although nuclear material is extremely secure in Russia, if Iran develops a full-blown nuclear capability, any violent extremist and nationalist rebels, including Chechen, can go to Iran and purchase the material.

That’s why Yannakogeorgos believes that it’s better for the Russian Federation to string the Iranians along. Russian firms will be able to earn money as the Iranians keep Russian scientists and engineers within the country who are able to oversee its nuclear progress. However, if the Russians delay a program on technical grounds, it will have problem with Iran.

It has been suggested that it was much better for Russia to plant a worm with digital American-Israeli fingerprints to seem like it were a clandestine operation by an adversary having no access to the gateway entry points. Meanwhile, the observers of the malware could notify the Iranians before full nuclear catastrophe struck. In fact, it was a Belarusian computer insecurity expert who found out the code of the virus, but that country for some reason didn’t seem interested in reverse engineering the code to find out what it was designed to do, and switched this task to Symantec researchers.

So, if all of this is true, Iran fell for it. This virus attack, coupled with an assassination campaign that targeted Iranian nuclear and computer scientists and different leaks suggesting covert action - everything made for a compelling case of the involvement of the United States.

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