The New York Times reported on a possible reference to the Book of Esther in the Stuxnet code.  Queen Esther, of course, saved the Jews of Persia from the evil Haman, as celebrated in the Jewish holiday Purim.

Now, a Symantec researcher has found a reference in the code to an obscure date in 1979 which just happens to be the date on which the Iranian revolutionaries executed a prominent Iranian Jew.  As reported at ThreatPost:

A Symantec researcher filled in more critical details about the Stuxnet worm here, demonstrating the worm’s ability to take control of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) by Siemens Inc. and disable machinery connected to them.

Liam O’Murchu of Symantec, speaking at the Virus Bulletin Conference here, provided the first detailed public analysis of the worm’s inner workings to an audience of some of the world’s top computer virus experts. O’Murchu described a sophisticated and highly targeted virus and demonstrated a proof of concept exploit that showed how the virus could cause machines using infected PLCs to run out of control….

As for suggestions that Israeli intelligence may have authored the virus, O’Murchu noted that researchers had uncovered the reference to an obscure date in the worm’s code,  May 9, 1979, which, he noted, was the date on which a prominent Iranian Jew, Habib Elghanian, who was executed by the new Islamic government shortly after the revolution.

Here is a portion of the Wikipedia entry on Elghanian:

On May 9, 1979, Elghanian was executed by a firing squad in Tehran sending shock waves through the closely knit Iranian Jewish community. He was the first Jew and one of the first civilians to be executed by the new Islamic government. This prompted the mass exodus of the once 100,000 member strong Jewish community of Iran which continues to this day.

Was this an Israeli attack with snippets of code manipulated to mock the Iranians, or a false flag operation meant to blame the Israelis?

Somewhere, someplace, someone is laughing.  We just don’t know who.

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