Security expert: Iran not to stop nuclear program because of digital threats

Posted on February 28, 2012

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computer expert amrit williamsIran is not simply going to stop pursuing their programs because of a digital threat, founder of WAF Enterprises, former Director of Emerging Security Technologies at IBM mobile, Amrit Williams said.

The expert was commenting on whether a determined hacker attack could damage Iran’s nuclear facility computers. He noted that many of the systems that were used to develop nuclear and atomic weapons in the past were not as heavily reliant on digital technology.

In 2010, Iranian computers have been hit by a virus called Stuxnet. Stuxnet has gained notoriety as the first cyber weapon reported to be deployed with impressive results. Thousands of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges were apparently destroyed by the computer virus.

Iranian security officials warned that the virus will continue to spread to computers outside of Iran, since the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic prevent Iran from obtaining antivirus software.

The source of the Stuxnet virus remains uncertain. Given its use against Iranian nuclear equipment, however, it is commonly assumed to have been developed and deployed by Israel, the U.S., or both.

Presumably, the latest Iranian account of Stuxnet’s effects is intended to push back against sanctions. Even more significantly, it underlines the emerging era of covert cyber warfare.

Williams noted that a sophisticated well-funded, and organized group of hackers can do a tremendous amount of damage to the daily life of the average citizens in a country.

“The can also do tremendous harm to commercial business and to the public sector and military establishment, and most importantly, they can really damage the perception of security many may feel”.

The expert added that it is “highly unlikely” that a destabilization would result in Iran abandoning its nuclear program.

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