Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stuxnet - A cyber Nuclear Weapon

Stuxnet - A cyber Warhead

The Stuxnet computer virus, created to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme, was the result of collaboration between at least one Western power and the Israeli secret service, a British cyber security expert has found.A highly sophisticated computer worm that has spread through Iran, Indonesia and India was built to destroy operations at one target: possibly Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Experts had first thought that Stuxnet was written to steal industrial secrets -- factory formulas that could be used to build counterfeit products. But Langner found something quite different. The worm actually looks for very specific Siemens settings -- a kind of fingerprint that tells it that it has been installed on a very specific Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) device -- and then it injects its own code into that system.

When Stuxnet finally identifies its target, it makes changes to a piece of Siemens code called Organizational Block 35. This Siemens component monitors critical factory operations -- things that need a response within 100 milliseconds. By messing with Operational Block 35, Stuxnet could easily cause a refinery's centrifuge to malfunction, but it could be used to hit other targets too, Byres said. "The only thing I can say is that it is something designed to go bang

A study of the spread of Stuxnet by Symantec showed that the main affected countries in the early days of the infection were Iran, Indonesia and India:
CountryInfected computers
Iran 58.85%
Indonesia 18.22%
India 8.31%
Azerbaijan 2.57%
United States 1.56%
Pakistan 1.28%
Others 9.2%


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