[ISN] Could Stuxnet Mess With North Korea’s New Uranium Plant?

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 00:15:23 -0600 (CST)

By Kim Zetter and Spencer Ackerman 
Danger Room
November 22, 2010 

The Stuxnet worm may have a new target. While security analysts try to 
figure out whether the now-infamous malware was built to sabotage Iran’s 
nuclear program, North Korea has unveiled a new uranium enrichment plant 
that appears to share components with Iran’s facilities. Could 
Pyongyang’s centrifuges be vulnerable to Stuxnet?

While U.S. officials are trying to figure out how to respond to North 
Korea’s unveiling of a new uranium enrichment plant, there are clues 
that a piece of malware believed to have hit Iran’s nuclear efforts 
could also target the centrifuges Pyongyang’s preparing to spin.

Some of the equipment used by the North Koreans to control their 
centrifuges — necessary for turning uranium into nuclear-bomb-ready fuel 
— appear to have come from the same firms that outfitted the Iranian 
nuclear program, according to David Albright, the president of the 
Institute for Science and International Security and a long-time watcher 
of both nuclear programs. “The computer-control equipment North Korea 
got was the same Iran got,” Albright told Danger Room.

Nearly two months before the Yongbyon revelation, Albright published a 
study covering the little that’s publicly known about the North’s 
longstanding and seemingly stalled efforts at enriching its own uranium. 
(.pdf) Citing unnamed European intelligence officials, Albright wrote 
that the North Korean control system “is dual use, also used by the 
petrochemical industry, but was the same as those acquired by Iran to 
run its centrifuges.”


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Received on Mon Nov 22 2010 - 22:15:23 PST

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