Stuxnet – Isreali and US created virus that attacked Iran?
Discovered in June 2010, Stuxnet is a computer worm which spreads through Microsoft Windows and is also the first discovered Malware, short for malicious software.
Designed to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information and gain unauthorized access to computer systems. It spies on subvert industrial systems and is the first to include a programmable logic controller (PLC).
Five Iranian organisations were subject to the various Stuxnet attacks.
Symantec stated in August 2010 that 60% of the infected computers worldwide were in Iran. The virus – which attacks Siemens industrial software and equipment – attacked the Iran nuclear programme, at point shutting down power stations.
It was confirmed it had been damaged by Stuxnet. Russia and Finnish computer security firms – Kaspersky Lab and F-Secures – concluded that the attacks had to be conducted ‘with nation-state support’. It’s been speculated – they deny it – that Israel and the US were involved.
Ralph Langner, researcher who identified that Stuxnet infected PLCs, stated in a TED Talk interview “My opinion is that the Mossad is involved but that the leading force is not Israel. The leading force behind Stuxnet is the cyber superpower—there is only one; and that’s the United States.”
Anonymous – international hacker group – confirmed during 2010 that they had the codes for Stuxnet, which they spread through the internet.
“While Israel has allegedly been happy to dispense hack attacks in the past… we doubt it will be as happy to be seen on the receiving end of decentralized computer warfare,” was an announcement that appeared towards the end of June 2011 on the AnonOps blog.
Several Israeli government websites crashed during June – websites of the IDF, Mossad and the Shin Bet security services were sites taken down, along with several government portals and ministries.
These attacks were in response of the Gaza and west-bank occupation by Israel since the land was taken in the six-day war and because of the brutalisation of Palestinian civilians.
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