Top Middle East Story of 2010? Israeli Readers Choose Stuxnet Virus over U.S. Pullout from Iraq

Saturday, January 01, 2011
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits a nuclear facility
America’s long-anticipated withdrawal from Iraq was small news in 2010, as far as the readers of the Jerusalem Post were concerned. The pullout of U.S. soldiers received only 15% of the vote for story of the year, putting it a distant second to the computer virus that derailed Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which polled 59%. Post readers, 1,737 of whom responded, were given the choice of five events from which to choose.
The Stuxnet worm has reportedly set back Iran’s nuclear program by two years, after it got into thousands of computers and reprogrammed them. Some believe the sophisticated virus was developed by Israel’s Military Intelligence Unit 8200, due to clues found in the computer code.
These clues include the word “Myrtus,” a possible reference to the Hebrew word Hadassah, the birth name of Queen Esther from the Purim holiday, who is buried in Iran. Another supposed clue was the number 19790509, which might refer to the date “1979 May 09,” the day a prominent Iranian Jew, Habib Eighanian, was executed by firing squad in Tehran.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Top Middle East Story of 2010: The Stuxnet Virus (by Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post) 
Poll Results (Jerusalem Post)


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