GCHQ helped US in developing Stuxnet, claims a documentary

Pierluigi Paganini February 17, 2016

A new documentary titled Zero Days revealed that the Stuxnet cyber weapon was just a small part of a much bigger Information Warfare operation (code named “NITRO ZEUS”) against the Iranian civilian infrastructure.

A new documentary titled Zero Days has revealed more disconcerting news on the Stuxnet worm, the first malware recognized by security industry as a cyber weapon. The documentary sheds light on the US war program that included the design of Stuxnet, it also reveals that hundreds of thousands of network implants and backdoors in Iran networks were managed by Western entities to penetrate Iranian infrastructure and destroy them.

Zero Days presented at the Berlin Film Festival confirms that Stuxnet was developed under the Information warfare operation called “Olympic Games,” which is part of a wider programme dubbed “Nitro Zeus” that involves hundreds of US cyber security experts. The US was not alone, the Israeli Government has a primary role in the Nitro Zeus program.

The documentary confirms that the nation-state hackers behind Stuxnet spent a significant effort in the attempting to covert their operation, they also designed the threat by restricting its operation only against Iranian machines.

Natanz-SCADA Stuxnet

One of the most intriguing novelties proposed in the documentary is the involvement of the GCHQ intelligence, the film sustains that the British intelligence provided information for the development of the four zero-day exploits specifically designed to hit the control systems at the Natanz facility.

The experts at the NSA have hardly worked to cover the tracks after the infection became public, but the author of the report confirmed the existence of a more aggressive version of Stuxnet developed by the Israeli force that went out of control infecting thousands of computers across more than 115 countries.

It is not clear is the GCHQ was informed about the Nitro Zeus program.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Stuxnet, Information Warfare)

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