Report: Stuxnet Malware Was Planted by Iranian Double Agent

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ISSSource's Richard Sale reports that the Stuxnet virus was planted at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility by an Iranian double agent working for Israel.

"The agent used a booby-trapped memory stick to infect machines deep inside the Natanz nuclear facility ... Once the memory stick was infected, Stuxnet was able to infiltrate the Natanz network when a user did nothing more than click on an icon in Windows, ISSSource reported," writes Ars Technica's Dan Goodin.

ISSSource quotes a former U.S. intelligence source as saying, "Given the seriousness of the impact on Iran's (nuclear) program, we believe it took a human agent to spread the virus."

"According to ISSSource, the double agent was likely a member of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), a shadowy organization often engaged by Israel to carry out targeted assassinations of Iranian nationals, the publication's sources said," writes CNET News' Daniel Terdiman.

"The MEK has been listed as a 'foreign terrorist organization' since 1997 because of deadly attacks on Americans abroad, but members of the group have been trained at a secret site in Nevada," writes Business Insider's Michael Kelley. "U.S. officials consider them 'the assassination arm of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service' as they have been connected to the killing of five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007, according to Sale."

But Security Watch's Sara Yin reports that Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, contends the whole story just doesn't make sense. "'If they had a mole inside who could plant it to the right place, why write a worm at all? I don't buy it,' he told Security Watch," she writes.