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Stuxnet: A Breakthrough

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Interesting and thorough writeup on Stuxnet worm. The fact that one of the manufacturing locations for the frequency converter drives that the PLC units controls is made in Iran, that the development of this type of attack could be government sponsored, and that the frequency range the converter drives operate in falls in the sweet spot for motors used in uranium enrichment tells me that nation-states are funding and using viruses for cyber-attacks.

This is an alarming trend for the future as our enemies could use this technology against us. And that would be catastrophic.

Stuxnet: A Breakthrough | Symantec Connect.

From the Syamntec whitepaper:

Stuxnet represents the first of many milestones in malicious code history – it is the first to exploit four 0-day vulnerabilities, compromise two digital certificates, and inject code into industrial control systems and hide the code from the operator.  Whether Stuxnet will usher in a new generation of malicious code attacks towards realworld infrastructure—overshadowing the vast majority of current attacks affecting more virtual or individual assets—or if it is a once- in-a-decade occurrence remains to be seen.
Stuxnet is of such great complexity—requiring significant resources to develop—that few attackers will be capable of producing a similar threat, to such an extent that we would not expect masses of threats of similar in sophistication to suddenly appear.  However, Stuxnet has highlighted direct-attack attempts on critical infrastructure are possible and not just theory or movie plotlines.
The real-world implications of Stuxnet are beyond any threat we have seen in the past.  Despite the exciting challenge in reverse engineering Stuxnet and understanding its purpose, Stuxnet is the type of threat we hope to never see again.

Categories: Other, Tech, Windows
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