by: Justin Fishel
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is refusing to comment on widespread accusations that it is responsible for coordinating a cyber-attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Earlier this month the Iranians acknowledged the “Stuxnet Worm” had invaded software it uses at multiple nuclear production plants.
Pentagon Spokesman Col. David Lapan said Monday the Department of Defense can “neither confirm nor deny” reports that it launched this attack.
The Stuxnet worms enters networks through USB portals and is designed specifically to attack software made by Siemens, the German owned industrial corporation. German intelligence agencies have been known to cooperate closely with the United States. Combine this fact with that the United States and Israel both have a vested interest in stopping the Iranians from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and you have the three main suspects behind the worm: the U.S., Israel, and Germany.
It’s also important to note that researchers have determined the worm originated sometime in early 2010. Therefore if it was initiated by the United States it would have been done under the Obama administration.
Last year the Pentagon was attacked by a virus that temporarily shut down email services in the Pentagon. That worm also entered the system through commonly used flash drives, or portable hard drives, that plug into USB ports. Since that attack the Pentagon has banned the use of flash drives throughout the Department of Defense, and that ban remains in place today.
The Department of Homeland Security said last week it is taking precautions to defend the U.S. against the Stuxnet worm.