A senior Iranian commander has accused the German engineering firm Siemens of helping the US and Israeli to build the Stuxnet computer worm that infiltrated his country's nuclear facilities.
The claim by Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali came on Saturday in the Islamic Republic News Service, Iran's state news agency, which goes by the acronym IRNA. Jalali said that Siemens, which built the industrial control system that was sabotaged by Stuxnet, should be called on to account for the help it provided to a team of programmers who built the highly sophisticated worm.
As previously reported, the malware attacked SCADA – supervisory control and data acquisition – software used to control gas-centrifuge motors inside Iranian nuclear plants.
“Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemies with the information about the codes of the SCADA software and prepared the ground for a cyber attack against us,” Jalali told IRNA. “It was a hostile action which could have inflicted serious damage on the country if it had not been dealt with in a timely manner.”
He went on to say that Iran's Foreign Ministry should lodge complaints in international courts to hold the US and Israel legally responsible.
The comments come three months after The New York Times reported that Stuxnet was jointly developed by programmers from Israel and the US. Citing unnamed sources, the NYT said that Siemens in 2008 worked with teams at the Idaho National Laboratory to identify vulnerabilities in its SCADA software.
Jalali's remarks were the first time an Iranian official has directly fingered Israel, the US or Siemens in the attack, although President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has on several occasions blamed the two countries for trying to disrupt his government.
Jalali repeated claims made by Ahmadinejad that Stuxnet had little effect on his country's nuclear-enrichment program because the worm was quickly contained after it infected SCADA systems. Assessments from security researchers at Symantec and elsewhere, have claimed that Stuxnet repeatedly attacked five industrial plants inside Iran over a 10-month period. ®