Monday, November 29, 2010

Ahmadinejad admits Stuxnet damaged centrifuges

From the NYT:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved. ” He also publicly acknowledged, apparently for the first time, that the country’s nuclear program had been disrupted recently by a malicious computer software that attacked its centrifuges.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad vowed the nuclear program would continue, but acknowledged damage from the computer worm. “They succeeded in creating problems for a limited number of our centrifuges with the software they had installed in electronic parts,” he said.

Iranian officials had previously acknowledged unspecified problems with Iran’s centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium that can be used for peaceful energy generation or atomic weapons. But the Iranians had always denied the problems were caused by malicious computer code.

A worm known as Stuxnet is believed to have struck Iran over the summer. Experts said that the program, which is precisely calibrated to send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control, was likely developed by a state government.

Mr. Ahmadinejad did not specify the type of malware or its perpetrators but said that “fortunately our experts discovered that and today they are not able anymore.”
If they are admitting a little, that means that they got damaged a lot.

See also Fox News' Stuxnet article.

(h/t Zach)