By Kevin Coleman -- Defense Tech Cyber Warfare Correspondent
As you may recall back in November 2010 President Ahmadinejad publicly admitted problems caused by the Stuxnet malware. Stuxnet is said to have impacted the Russian built nuclear enrichment equipment and is thought to have delayed their nuclear program between 1 and 3 years. Late last week Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, publicly called upon (more like demanded) NATO to conduct a thorough investigation into the Stuxnet computer worm that targeted the Iranian nuclear power plant, and stated that the incident could have triggered a “new Chernobyl.” He went on to describe how the systems control panels showed the uranium-enriching centrifuges were operating normally while in fact they were spinning out of control. In fact, there are some that have reported the centrifuges spun so fast they began to fly apart.
Experts who work in the nuclear industry say the only way Stuxnet could have triggered a “new Chernobyl” is if the control system used in the nuclear power generating process (that is not in operation yet) was susceptible to the Stuxnet malware. It is highly doubtful that the Siemens software and programmable logic controller is used in the nuclear power generating process is similar enough for the Stuxnet malware to work. Some believe this is Russia protecting one of its companies involved with Iran’s nuclear program whose lack of proper security in the design of the nuclear plant and equipment led to the compromise of the system. At the time of this posting, NATO has not publicly responded to Russia’s request/demand for a Stuxnet investigation.
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