Stuxnet – the gift that goes on giving 1

Here’s some great news from the Washington Post:

Iran’s nuclear program, which stumbled badly after a reported cyberattack last year, appears beset by poorly performing equipment, shortages of parts and other woes as global sanctions exert a mounting toll, Western diplomats and nuclear experts say. …

They complain of these several “woes”:

Analysts say Iran has become increasingly frustrated and erratic as political change sweeps the region and its nuclear program struggles. …

At Iran’s largest nuclear complex, near the city of Natanz, fast-spinning machines called centrifuges churn out enriched uranium. But the average output is steadily declining as the equipment breaks down …

Iran has vowed to replace the older machines with models that are faster and more efficient. Yet new centrifuges recently introduced at Natanz contain parts made from an inferior type of metal that is weaker and more prone to failure …

Western diplomats and nuclear experts say Iranian officials have been frustrated and angered by the program’s numerous setbacks, including deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists. Four Iranian scientists have been killed by unidentified assailants since 2007, and a fifth narrowly escaped death in an attempted car-bombing. …

But that Stuxnet worm is the damnedest thing:

The studies of Iran’s struggling uranium program draw on data collected by U.N. officials … The inspectors’ report documented a sharp drop in output in 2009 and 2010, providing the first confirmation of a major equipment failure linked to a computer virus dubbed Stuxnet. Western diplomats and nuclear experts say Stuxnet’s designer intended to attack and disable thousands of first-generation centrifuges at Natanz, undercutting Iran’s ability to make a nuclear bomb. Many experts suspect Israel created the virus, perhaps with U.S. help, but neither nation has acknowledged any role.

Iranian scientists replaced more than 1,000 crippled machines. Afterward the Natanz plant appeared to quickly recover, and production rates soared to surpass levels seen before the attack. Yet, the gains have not lasted, according to the analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security. …

The world owes a debt beyond price to Stuxnet’s designer. He has saved it – at least for a time – from nuclear war. But he’s not very likely to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. That’s reserved for terrorists and community organizers.

  • Anonymous

    Great article! 
    I love this site, I learn so much.
    It is enriching (no pun intended) to learn from other atheist conservatives.