Report: Iranian nuclear program shut down by computer worm

wrahn Contributor
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Iran’s nuclear program has experienced serious problems, including unexplained fluctuations in the performance of the thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium, leading to a rare but temporary shutdown, international inspectors are expected to reveal Tuesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. unit that monitors nuclear programs, will provide no explanation of the problems. But speculation immediately centered on the Stuxnet worm, a computer virus that some researchers say appears to have been designed specifically to target Iran’s centrifuge machines so that they spin out of control.

Iran denies the worm caused any problems.

No country has claimed responsibility for developing the virus, although suspicion has focused primarily on Israel and the United States. James L. Jones, who until recently was President Obama’s national security adviser, declined to comment on the worm when asked about it Monday at the Aspen Institute.

The Associated Press first reported on the centrifuge shutdown, which was confirmed by a person familiar with the report. The official said the shutdown is mentioned in a much-anticipated IAEA report expected to be released Tuesday.

Full story: Iran’s nuclear program reportedly struggling