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Stuxnet Worm Was Designed to Wreck Nuclear Centrifuges, NYT Says

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Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Computer security specialists analysing the Stuxnet worm, a malicious program detected earlier this year, have concluded that it’s calibrated to send nuclear centifuges out of control by making sudden changes in motors’ rotational speed, the New York Times reported.

International inspectors’ reports show that Iran, where the worm has mainly been detected, has experienced many difficulties with its centrifuges since the summer of 2009 and hundreds have been removed from service, the newspaper said.

While the provenance of the worm is uncertain, Israeli officials “have broken into wide smiles” in recent weeks when asked whether Israel is behind the cyberattack, or knows who is, the Times said.

A study by experts at Symantec Corp. concluded that Stuxnet targets motor-speed controllers called frequency converters made by two companies, Fararo paya of Iran and Vacon Oyj of Finland, the newspaper said.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Purkiss at apurkiss@bloomberg.net