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Stuxnet Virus Set Iran’s Nuclear Program Back Two Years

By Joshua Philipp
Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 17, 2010 Last Updated: March 1, 2011
Related articles: Technology » Cyber Security
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The Stuxnet computer virus that was found in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant in September “was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war,” a top German computer consultant by the name of Langer told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Langer said it will take two years for Iran to get its nuclear program back on track. He also suggested that it would be easier for them to dispose of computers infected with the Stuxnet virus than it would be to try to remove it.

The virus infected the IP addresses of more than 30,000 computer systems, Iran’s state-run media announced on Sept. 26. It may have spread further since then.

Stuxnet is regarded as the first cyber weapon, although experts will argue that there are many like it and Stuxnet is just the first to be known in the mainstream. The creator of the virus is unknown, although Israel is suspected.

What makes Stuxnet unique is its ability to take control of moving parts in machinery and destroy or disable them. It can also infect systems that are not connected to the Internet.

Stuxnet “really changed the game. It started what I’ve been calling our next ‘cyber cold war,’ and it will be very similar to our nuclear cold war,” said Matthew Jonkman, founder and CEO of cybersecurity company Emerging Threats, in an earlier interview with The Epoch Times .




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