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Experts Agree Iran Likely Disabled Crippling Stuxnet Computer Virus

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April 9, 2007: Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz 186 miles south of capital Tehran, Iran. (AP)

Engineers in Iran have successfully neutralized and removed the Stuxnet computer virus from the nation’s nuclear equipment, Reuters reports, citing unidentified U.S. and European officials.

The source and origin of the virus, which has infected Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium since as early as 2009, remains unconfirmed, although many experts suspect it was created by Israel -- and possibly the U.S.

The U.S. and European officials told Reuters that their experts agreed Stuxnet has been disabled by Iran, but intense secrecy surrounding the subject makes it hard to determine when this occurred

Some officials told Reuters they think the Iranians were helped by Western cybersecurity experts and that it would only be a matter of time before the malicious code was shut down.

"If Iran would not have gotten rid of Stuxnet by now (or even months ago), that would indicate that they were complete idiots," German computer security consultant Ralph Langner said.

Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz reportedly was hit by Stuxnet in 2010, with some experts saying it probably was deployed a year earlier, Reuters reported.

The experts have said they think the virus caused serious problems for the operations of the centrifuges, for some time at least.