Stuxnet, the virus aimed at industrial computers, hit Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility in September. Given the virus attacked SCADA computer systems and Iran’s first nuclear reactor recently went live, some specialists believed it may have been specifically aimed at Iran. New research bolsters the likelihood of this claim.
Two new studies indicate the virus was designed only to attack computers with “particular frequency converter drives from specific vendors.” Those vendors are located in Finland, and Iran. The virus was designed to change the speed of a motor, effectively keeping the facility from operating properly.
“(W)e can now confirm that Stuxnet requires the industrial control system to have frequency converter drives from at least one of two specific vendors, one headquartered in Finland and the other in Tehran, Iran.”
Further, the worm will only hit on these drives if they operate at a high rate of speed, between 807 Hz and 1210 Hz.The only facilities that use drives at this speed known to the authors are nuclear, The Guardian quotes a statement by Ivanka Barzashka of the Federation of American Scientists to Reuters.
“If Symantec’s analysis is true, then Stuxnet likely aimed to destroy Iran’s gas centrifuges, which could produce enriched uranium for both nuclear fuel and nuclear bombs.”
Germany’s Langner Communications came to the same conclusion in their report.