Stuxnet

Computer Worm

Stuxnet is a Windows computer worm discovered in July 2010 that targets industrial software and equipment. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems, it is the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems. The worm initially spreads indiscriminately, but includes a highly specialized malware payload that is designed to target only Siemens Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition systems that are configured to control and monitor specific industrial processes.

The probable target of Stuxnet is widely suspected to be uranium enrichment infrastructure in Iran, which confirmed that its nuclear program had indeed been damaged. The infestation by this worm may therefore have damaged Iran’s nuclear facilities in Natanz and eventually delayed the start up of Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. Security experts have concluded that the sophisticated attack could only have been conducted with nation-state support and it has been speculated that Israel may have been involved.

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