Assasination of scientist marks restart of shooting war over Iranian nukes

Israel accused of motorcycle magnet-bombing that killed a fourth Iranian scientist

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Iranian officials have accused both the U.S. and Israel of launching the malware attack. Israeli officials admitted once testing Stuxnet, which appeared in the wild in a different form as early as two years before the customized version was found to be attacking Bashehr.

The U.S. has never admitted any involvement with the virus. Both countries have denied being behind either Stuxnet or Duqu – a virus discovered in Iran in November as a possible next-generation version of Stuxnet, though one designed to steal data from industrial-control systems rather than take over and degrade their operation, as was Stuxnet.

Iranian officials claimed Israel's Mossad, the CIA and the British MI6 spy agencies are behind a series of "terrorism" attacks on targets related to the nuclear effort, including the murder of three other nuclear scientists since 2010.

Yesterday Israel's chief military commander told an Israeli parliamentary council 2012 would be a "critical year" for Iran, largely due to "things that happen to it unnaturally," according to the Associated Press.

Security experts predict the number of cyberattacks and cyberespionage incidents will skyrocket in 2012, even independent of the Iran conflict.

Iranian security official Safar Ali Baratloo was quoted in Iran's news service as saying the attack on Rohan was the work of Israelis.

"The magnetic bomb is of the same types already used to assassinate our scientists," according to AP.

A similar attack in Jan, 2010 killed Tehran University physics professor and nuclear-material refinement expert Masoud Ali Mohammadi in Tehran. In November, 2010 two simultaneous bomb attacks killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another, who was subsequently appointed head of Iran's atomic agency.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters

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