|June 3, 2012
The computer virus, aimed at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was designed to damage centrifuges by making covert adjustments to the machines controlling them.
It formed part of a "wave" of digital attacks on Iran codenamed "Olympic Games" and was created with the assistance of a secret Israeli intelligence unit, The New York Times said in a report based on a book chronicling secret wars under the Obama administration
The report confirms the suspicions of computer security experts who detected and forensically examined Stuxnet in 2010. They reasoned that the technical expertise and human intelligence sources needed to create and deliver what was described as the "world's first cyberweapon" pointed to a joint operation by American and Israeli agencies.
Such third parties reportedly discovered Stuxnet as the result of a "programming error" that meant it spread beyond the computer network at Natanz. According to the account, President Obama asked his national security advisers whether the attack should be halted at a White House Situation Room meeting convened days after the virus "escaped", but decided to intensify it instead.