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Expert: virus crippled Iranian nuke sites

  |   Dec. 15, 2010 at 8:20 AM
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JERUSALEM, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran's nuclear facilities has caused setbacks to its nuclear program, a top German computer consultant said.

"It will take two years for Iran to get back on track. This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success," the expert identified only as Langer told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview.

In his opinion, Israel and the United States could be behind the virus, which took years to develop, he said.

"We arrived at this conclusion through code analysis, since the code on the control systems is 15,000 lines of code, and this is a huge amount. This piece of evidence led us to conclude that this is not by a hacker. It had to be a country, and we can also conclude that even one nation-state would not have been able to do this alone," Lager said.

Widespread speculation suggested Israel's Military Intelligence Unit 8200 known for its advanced Signal Intelligence capabilities and the United States may have been the creators of the virus, the newspaper said.

Last month, news reports claimed a computer virus had affected operations at Iran's nuclear facility in Bushehr and its uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. Iran at first denied the reports but later admitted there was a computer virus that had been fixed.

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