Internet security firm finds early ‘Stuxnet O.5’ version revealing espionage and sabotage virus released under George W Bush…
Charles Arthur, technology editor
Tuesday 26 February 2013
An alleged uranium-enrichment facility near Qom, Iran. Symantec have discovered a ‘missing link’ 2005 version of a computer virus ‘Stuxnet 0.05’ believed to be used the US and Israel against Iran’s nuclear programme. Photograph: Digital Globe/Reuters
Researchers at the security company Symantec have discovered an early version of the “Stuxnet” computer virus that was used to attack nuclear reprocessing plants in Iran, in what they say is a “missing link” dating back to 2005.
The discovery means that the US and Israel, who are believed to have jointly developed the software in order to carry out an almost undetectable attack on Iran’s nuclear bomb-making ambitions, were working on the scheme long before it came to public notice – and that development of Stuxnet, and its forerunner, began under the presidency of George W Bush, rather than being a scheme hatched during Barack Obama’s first term.
The older version of the virus, dubbed “Stuxnet 0.5” – to distinguish it from the “1.0” version – also targeted control systems in Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility, the researchers said.
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