Tehran, YJC.Researchers at a US security firm have unveiled an early version of the Stuxnet computer virus that was used to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Symantec said in a report on Tuesday that its researchers uncovered a piece of code, which they called "Stuxnet 0.5," in November 2007, more than two years earlier than previously thought.
The revelation means the US and Israel were working on the scheme long before it came to public notice in 2010.
Stuxnet 0.5 was written using much of the same code as Flame, according to Symantec's report, another virus used against systems in Iran's nuclear energy facilities.
Washington and Tel Aviv are believed to have jointly developed the malware, and that planning for the cyber weapon began at least as early as 2005.
"It is really mind blowing that they were thinking about creating a project like that in 2005," said Symantec researcher Liam O'Murchu.
The new discovery shows that Stuxnet and other viruses were developed under the presidency of George W Bush.
Iran has been the target of several cyber attacks over the past few years.
Iranian officials have described the US and Israeli cyber attacks targeting the country’s peaceful nuclear program as a matter of global concern. Tehran has called for a new international legal instrument to counter the increasing wave of such attacks in the world.
In June 2012, a report by the Washington Post said the US and the Israeli regime had cooperated in creating the computer virus Flame to spy on Iran. US National Security Agency, the CIA and the Israeli military worked together to create the Flame virus, the paper added.
In addition, the New York Times also revealed in the same month that US President Barack Obama secretly ordered a cyber attack with the Stuxnet computer virus against Iran in 2010 to sabotage the country’s nuclear energy program.