- The Stuxnet computer worm is perhaps the most complicated piece of malicious software ever built; roughly 50 times the size of the typical computer virus. It leveraged an array of new techniques to spread and conceal itself while attacking Iranian nuclear enrichment centrifuges. In this video produced by CISAC, Symantec Chief Architect Carey Nachenberg tells a Stanford audience how the Stuxnet worm spread, evaded detection and ultimately accomplished its mission.
WASHINGTON — From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, participants in the program told The New York Times.
- "What makes Stuxnet particularly earth-shattering is that it was designed to take a never-before-seen leap from the digital world into the physical world."-- Symantec Stuxnet blog, goo.gl/NUu9y
Who Was Behind Stuxnet? Some say Israel, others the U.S.
"The biggest single factor in putting time on the nuclear clock appears to be Stuxnet, the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever deployed. In interviews over the past three months in the United States and Europe, experts who have picked apart the computer worm describe it as far more complex — and ingenious — than anything they had imagined when it began circulating around the world, unexplained, in mid-2009.
Many mysteries remain, chief among them, exactly who constructed a computer worm that appears to have several authors on several continents. But the digital trail is littered with intriguing bits of evidence."
-- The New York Times, January 2011
- Stuxnet first began to get attention in June 2010, when an antivirus company in Belarus noticed that a computer of one of its customers in Iran was stuck in a reboot loop. Soon after, security experts started to follow the trail.
A new era of warfare?
- "It is not a stretch to assume the threat was politically motivated, potentially making Stuxnet the first politically charged cyberattack attempting to accomplish real-world destruction."-- "Internet Security Predictions for 2011: The Shape of Things to Come," Symantec Official Blog, Nov. 2010. goo.gl/6qds2