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By Kim Zetter and Spencer Ackerman
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=E2=80=99s
nuclear program, North Korea has unveiled a new uranium enrichment plant
that appears to share components with Iran=E2=80=99s facilities. Could
Pyongyang=E2=80=99s centrifuges be vulnerable to Stuxnet?
While U.S. officials are trying to figure out how to respond to North
Korea=E2=80=99s unveiling of a new uranium enrichment plant, there are clues
that a piece of malware believed to have hit Iran=E2=80=99s nuclear efforts
could also target the centrifuges Pyongyang=E2=80=99s preparing to spin.
Some of the equipment used by the North Koreans to control their
centrifuges =E2=80=94 necessary for turning uranium into nuclear-bomb-ready fuel
=E2=80=94 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. =E2=80=9CThe computer-control equipment North Korea
got was the same Iran got,=E2=80=9D Albright told Danger Room.
Nearly two months before the Yongbyon revelation, Albright published a
study covering the little that=E2=80=99s publicly known about the North=E2=80=99s
longstanding and seemingly stalled efforts at enriching its own uranium.
(.pdf) Citing unnamed European intelligence officials, Albright wrote
that the North Korean control system =E2=80=9Cis dual use, also used by the
petrochemical industry, but was the same as those acquired by Iran to
run its centrifuges.=E2=80=9D
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