Stuxnet is a Windows-specific computer worm first discovered in July 2010 by VirusBlokAda, a security firm based in Belarus. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems, it is the first discovered worm that spies on and reprograms industrial systems, and the first to include a programmable logic controller (PLC) rootkit. It was specifically written to attack Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems used to control and monitor industrial processes. Stuxnet includes the capability to reprogram the PLCs and hide its changes.
The worm's probable target is said to have been high value infrastructures in Iran using Siemens control systems. According to news reports the infestation by this worm might have damaged Iran's nuclear facilities in Natanz and eventually delayed the start up of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.Although Siemens has stated that the worm has not caused any damage, on November 29, Iran confirmed that its nuclear program had indeed been damaged by Stuxnet.
Russian digital security company Kaspersky Labs released a statement that described Stuxnet as "a working and fearsome prototype of a cyber-weapon that will lead to the creation of a new arms race in the world." Kevin Hogan, Senior Director of Security Response at Symantec, noted that 60% of the infected computers worldwide were in Iran, suggesting its industrial plants were the target. Kaspersky Labs concluded that the attacks could only have been conducted "with nation-state support", making Iran the first target of real cyberwarfare.
Stuxnet Virus News Update