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Israel tested Stuxnet worm in joint effort with US to thwart Iran, says report

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(Read caption) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (c.) visits the Natanz nuclear facility, south of Tehran, in this April 8, 2008, file photo.

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

In a joint Israeli-American effort to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a Stuxnet cyber worm tested at a secret facility in Israel’s Negev desert wiped out about a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, The New York Times reported yesterday.

The Monitor reported earlier this month that the Stuxnet cyber weapon may have destroyed as many as 1,000 Iranian nuclear-fuel centrifuges in late 2009 and early 2010. By Feb. 18, 2010, quarterly reports issued by IAEA inspectors highlighted that there might be problems in centrifuge installation at Iran’s Natanz plant.

However, what was unknown prior to the Times report was who might be behind the computer-based attack.

The Times report illuminates the role of Israel’s nuclear arms complex Dimona, says the London-based newspaper The Guardian. At Dimona, the Israelis, with support from the United States, are reported to have been spinning nuclear centrifuges extremely similar to those used at Natanz in Iran.

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