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Stuxnet 007

Maybe more like a job for James Phelps and the Impossible Mission Force:

In the 20th century, this would have been a job for James Bond.

The mission: Infiltrate the highly advanced, securely guarded enemy headquarters where scientists in the clutches of an evil master are secretly building a weapon that can destroy the world. Then render that weapon harmless and escape undetected.

But in the 21st century, Bond doesn’t get the call. Instead, ththe job is handled by a suave and very sophisticated secret computer worm, a jumble of code called Stuxnet, which in the last year has not only crippled Iran’s nuclear program but has caused a major rethinking of computer security around the globe.

Fox News does a good job explaining in non-technese, the damage done, how Stuxnet was spread and how it infiltrates some pretty tight security. They also provide some insight into who may have built the trojan.

Langer argues that no single Western intelligence agency had the skills to pull this off alone. The most likely answer, he says, is that a consortium of intelligence agencies worked together to build the cyber bomb. And he says the most likely confederates are the United States, because it has the technical skills to make the virus, Germany, because reverse-engineering Sieman’s product would have taken years without it, and Russia, because of its familiarity with both the Iranian nuclear plant and Sieman’s systems

A good story and excellent reporting, although they never mentioned the most responsible for the incident were those who decided to use MSoft in what should ham been a secure application.  Being stupid has consequences.  Fortunately the Iranian government isn’t all that smart, and Seimens isn’t getting the rap they deserve for allowing this to happen.

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Cyber War at the MidEastern Front

I remarked last month on James Barber’s post on Eye Current about a Seimens virus. The virus or more properly known as the Stuxnet worm affected the computers that are the Man Machine Interface (MMI) and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Word is out in the street that this worm is nation state sponsored.

Nobody knows who’s behind Stuxnet, but recently Kaspersky Lab researcher Roel Schouwenberg said that it was most likely a nation state.

Symantec’s O’Murchu agrees that the worm was done by particularly sophisticated attackers. “This is definitely not your typical operation,” he said.

The worm has mostly been found in Iran and it is believed to be targeting the Iran’s nuclear program.

Computers in Iran have been hardest hit by a dangerous computer worm that tries to steal information from industrial control systems.

According to data compiled by Symantec, nearly 60 percent of all systems infected by the worm are located in Iran. Indonesia and India have also been hard-hit by the malicious software, known as Stuxnet.