Spy agencies working on cyberweapon “more powerful than Stuxnet”, claims Iran

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An Iranian news agency has said that “malware worse than Stuxnet” may soon be unleashed, to “spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran’s nuclear program.”

The information came from an unnamed source close to Saudi Arabia’s secret service, according to The Register and suggested that $1 million had already been earmarked for the project.

“Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency Tamir Bardo sent their representatives to a meeting in Vienna on November 24 to increase the two sides’ cooperation in intelligence and sabotage operations against Iran’s nuclear program,” the source told Iranian news agency FARS.

“One of the proposals raised in the meeting was the production of a malware worse than the Stuxnet (a comprehensive US-Israeli program designed to disrupt Iran’s nuclear technology) to spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran’s nuclear program,” the source told FARs.

Stuxnet inspired much debate among security professionals, as reported by We Live Security here, both for its targeting of industrial control systems, and its sophistication, which seemed to indicate that it was made by a group with the resources of a nation-state. ESET Senior Research Fellow David Harley cautioned, in the wake of the attacks, against expecting “the next Stuxnet” to be similar. “Expect the unexpected,” he wrote.

Israel’s Haaretz news said that Saudi Arabia’s “shared concern” with Israel over Iran’s nuclear capability has put the two countries at odds with the United States. FARS reported that the Saudi intelligence chief described current Geneva talks aimed at limiting the country’s nuclear program through economic sanctions as “the West’s treachery.”

The Sunday Times, quoting an unnamed diplomatic source in Saudi Arabia, said that Saudi would allow Israel to use its air space, and cooperate with Israel on the use of drones and helicopters, if current talks in Geneva fail to roll back the country’s nuclear program.

“Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” the Sunday Times’ source said.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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