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Iran boasts as Stuxnet self-destructs

Fars news agency says Iran’s nuclear refinement going strong despite attack by computer virus

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Iranian technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in 2010 (photo credit: AP/IIPA, Ebrahim Norouzi)
Iranian technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in 2010 (photo credit: AP/IIPA, Ebrahim Norouzi)

The Stuxnet virus — the bane of the Iranian nuclear program —  reportedly shut itself down at 12:01 a.m. Monday, with Iran crowing that it had survived the onslaught of the powerful computer bug.

The malware, which some believe was created by the US and Israel  to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, was pre-programmed to shut itself down on June 25, The Christian Science Monitor reported on Saturday.

Image capture of a Fars news agency report on the end of the Stuxnet virus.
Image capture of a Fars news agency report on the end of the Stuxnet virus.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said it had weathered the superbug, which “failed to clandestinely infiltrate and then wreck Iran’s nuclear fuel enrichment program.”

The Fars article was essentially an edited reproduction of the Christian Science Monitor piece, with certain segments redacted.

The Stuxnet bug was discovered in 2010 in a number of computers at Iranian nuclear sites, with the virus reportedly programmed to cause centrifuges used to enrich uranium to break down.

At the time it was discovered, Stuxnet was considered the most powerful computer virus ever, leading many to believe it had been created by a state, such as Israel or the United States.

Earlier this year, another virus, called Flame, was discovered on a number of Iranian computers. While the code for Flame is completely different from Stuxnet, some analysts say it may be related and may also be the work of Israel or the United States.

 

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