January 16, 2011
US and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop a destructive computer worm to sabotage Iran’s efforts to make a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported on Saturday. In its online edition, the Times quoted intelligence and military experts as saying Israel has tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, which apparently shut down a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges in November and helped delay its ability to make its first nuclear weapons.
The testing took place at the heavily guarded Dimona complex in the Negev desert housing the Middle East’s sole, albeit undeclared nuclear weapons program. Experts and officials told the Times the effort to create Stuxnet was a US-Israeli project with the help, knowingly or not, of Britain and Germany.
“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” a US expert told the newspaper.
“The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”
There has been widespread speculation Israel was behind the Stuxnet worm that has attacked computers in Iran, and Tehran has blamed the Jewish state and the United States for the killing of two nuclear scientists in November and January.