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Friday, November 26, 2010

Uh oh... Stuxnet has fallen into the hands of terrorists

Citing Britain's Sky News, Fox News reports that the Stuxnet worm, which has apparently caused havoc with Iran's nuclear facilities, has fallen into the hands of terrorists, and may soon be causing problems with ordinary industrial plants.
Senior cyber-security figures said the worm -- the first to have been used to damage targets in the real world -- could be used to attack any physical target which relies on computers.

A senior IT security source said: "We have hard evidence that the virus is in the hands of bad guys -- we can’t say any more than that but these people are highly motivated and highly skilled with a lot of money behind them. And they have realized that this kind of virus could be a devastating tool."

Will Gilpin, an IT security consultant to the UK government added that with the worm: "You could shut down the police 999 [emergency call] system. You could shut down hospital systems and equipment."

The Stuxnet attack on the Bushehr nuclear installation in Iran is believed to have been orchestrated by another country. Now experts warn that the West is extremely vulnerable to similar attacks by criminal gangs seeking blackmail payouts -- or more likely by terrorist groups.

Stewart Baker, a former assistant secretary with the US Department of Homeland Security, said: "They could shut down power systems, dams, almost any sophisticated industrial process that requires a control software. Which is practically everything."
Either this wasn't invented by the Israelis or this story is the product of someone's vivid imagination, because I cannot believe that Israel would have invented this worm and then allowed it to fall into the hands of terror organizations. Something is awfully fishy here.

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At 9:53 AM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

This is anti-Israel, pro-Iran propaganda by the arabist British government. It is a complete fabrication!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't know about that but LatmaTV's new clip up in Hebrew has a funny spoof with Jamil and Awad about being blown up to Paradise and with Netanyahu singing about Ariel and the revanant freeze. The english subtitled version to come later should entertaining as usual.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Y.K. said...

Well, duh. Computer experts can isolate the worm and reverse engineer it. Since most of the interesting code is very likely in the worm, and not on a remote server (this was meant to be able to pass to computers without net access, after all) they can get it. Once it's reverse engineered enough, they have a copy which can be reprogrammed to do other stuff. The original maker of the worm has no say in it.

That said, this story is just scaremongering. As far as I know, getting other computers to do an hacker's bidding once he has access isn't the hard part. The hard part is getting access in the first place, and all of the holes Stuxnet used have been patched already. Others surely exist, but Stuxnet is no help there.

The answer is proper computer security practices, and if a company can't keep that, it has bigger problems than Stuxnet.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from what i have heard, the worm was sold on the black market? say what?

and for the worm to behave the way they are describing...it would have to be reengineered...it currently is set to only attack a specific seimens hardware....

if it is as complicated as is being stated...whoever wishes to use it as described, needs a hell of alot of money and time

and to do most of the things in the article...they dont need stuxnet...there are already worms out there that will accomplish these acts...they just have to get into the closed systems


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