Friday, June 1, 2012

Stuxnet-Flame: 'Confidential' Got It Right

The New York Times reports today on the joint US-Israel cyber-war on Iran. Exclusive details of that war are described in-depth in the book Confidential.   

Page 92:
"One of his [Arnon Milchan's] many objectives was to secure the design of centrifuges, a new [at the time] and highly secret method of enriching uranium. The primary manufacturer of centrifuges in the world was Urenco Ltd., a firm based in Julich, Germany, and owned by a consortium of Dutch, German and British companies.

According to Dr. Avner Cohen, a leading expert on nuclear proliferation, Israel started experimenting with centrifuges in the early to mid 1960's, "but it took a while, at least a decade to master the technology." In fact, Israel never entirely mastered centrifuge technology on its own. Only after secretly obtaining the Urenco centrifuge blueprints in the early 1970's from a senior Urenco executive, did Israel finally take command of the technology. Money was exchanged, the blueprints were "misplaced" and later found, but not before copies were made, which miraculously appeared on Benjamin Blumberg's desk in Tel Aviv. Mission accomplished."

Within a few years of Milchan's first Dimona visit, an entire new 'Machon' at Dimona was devoted to enriching uraniummore efficiently and quickly, through centrifuges manufactured entirely in Israel based exactly on the Urenco blueprint. Machon-8, with its thousands of spinning centrifuges, might justifiably be called Machon Milchan. 

It is noteworthy that shortly after Israel secured centrifuge technology from Urenco, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb, who then worked at one of Urenco's affiliated labs in Holland, also secured the same centrifuge designs for Pakistan, and he later sold them to Iran.... which explains how Israel and Iran are today operating virtually identical centrifuges for uranium enrichment, a fact that Israel would take advantage of at a later stage.

Page 262-263:
"Over the years, the United States has tacitly accepted Israel's status as the only nuclear power in the Middle East. That monopoly is currently challenged by a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iran that denies the Holocaust and maintains deep ties to proxy terror organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, who represent an existential threat to Israel. To counter the growing threat, the renamed LAKAM, and the Mossad have kicked into high hear. Every known computer system in Iran has been bugged." [We now know that the bugging method was the Flame virus].    

It is widely reported that Israel is directly responsible for the penetration of the Stuxnet worm into computers that control Iran's uranium enrichment program and its spinning centrifuges. The Stuxnet is considered the ost sophisticated cyber attack since the dawn of the digital age, setting Iran's nuclear program back bu a number of years. On January 15, 2011, The New York Times reported that the Stuxnet worm was tested at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor, where Israeli uses identical centrifuges. As reported for the first time in this book, the reason Iran and Israel's centrifuges are identical is because both countries obtained the design from the same source in the early 1970's: the German company Urenco."


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