Stuxnet analysis points finger at USA and Israel

A German security expert has accused Israel and America of managing the release of the Stuxnet worm which could have caused a Chernobyl-like meltdown in Iran's nuclear industry.

Ralph Langner told the TED conference in California that, although his in-depth analysis of the malicious code had led him to the conclusion that Israel's secretive Mossad organisation was involved in the attack, the operation was undoubtedly instigated by the United States.

Stuxnet was specifically designed to attack machinery and computer control systems made by Siemens and installed in Iran's uranium enrichment plants. The worm is said to be capable of making essential centrifuges spin dangerously out of control whilst reporting to operators that they are working at normal levels.

"It's definitely hard-core sabotage," Langner said of Stuxnet. "It's like in the movies where during a heist the security camera is running pre-recorded video showing nothing is wrong."

Iran says it is using its nuclear industry for entirely peaceful energy generating purposes but much of the rest of the world thinks otherwise.

"The idea behind Stuxnet computer worm is really quite simple," Langner said in a Yahoo News report. "We don't want Iran to get the bomb."

Langner also reckons that Stuxnet could be re-engineered to attack other facilities outside of Iran and has a dire warning for the country which he accuses of unleashing it.

"It's a cyber weapon of mass destruction," he said. "We'd better start preparing right now."

Langner is making a bit of a career out of dishing the Stuxnet dirt.