Germany-based security researcher Ralph Langner has once again fingered the US and Israel as the most likely architects of the Stuxnet worm.
Despite the headlines claiming the two countries have been named as creators of the worm, the fact remains that all evidence is circumstantial at best.
Langner is widely reported by the BBC and others to have told the TED 2011 technology conference in Long Beach, California that his opinion was that Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad is involved and that he speculated that the US was the main driver.
The connections that Langner makes between the two countries and Stuxnet are detailed in an article in Vanity Fair, and although intriguing, none are particularly strong, and could have been planted by the real creators to mislead investigators.
As the Vanity Fair article says, evidence is shaky, and according to at least one former intelligence officer, the level of trust between the intelligence and military establishments of the US and Israel is not high, making collaboration on Stuxnet implausible.
Just as Langner has argued that the US and Israel are most likely responsible for Stuxnet, others have argued just as strongly that countries like France and Jordan could have had a hand in the worm’s evolution.
Stuxnet is likely to excite the curiosity of the security community as long as serious questions about its genesis and effects remain, and until researchers unlock the line of code that irrefutably identifies its creators, all theories about its source remain just that, theories.