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Stuxnet cyberweapon set to stop operating

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Certainly relief won't come soon for President Obama and his national security team, which approved in spring 2010 unleashing a particularly potent version of Stuxnet, the New York Times reported this month. Called "the bug" inside the White House, Stuxnet was targeted to destroy a key group of 1,000 nuclear centrifuges Iran was believed using to make bomb grade uranium fuel, the Times reported.

Lawmakers in Congress now are calling for an investigation into the leaking of the top-secret US operation code-named "Olympic Games" in which Stuxnet, a name that was given "the bug" by anti-virus firms that found it spreading on networks in 2010.

There's no relief either for worried cyber security experts, some of whom have called Stuxnet the digital equivalent of the first nuclear attack on Hiroshima. They warn that Stuxnet's code provides a template and conceptual model for a far more destructive "son of Stuxnet" cyber weapon that could be deployed by other nation states or hacktivists for cyber attacks against power grids and other civilian infrastructure.

A prime target, they say, would be Stuxnet's own presumed creator – the US, which is to a far greater degree than its potential adversaries, including nations like North Korea and Iran, reliant on cyber-physical industrial control systems of the kind Stuxnet was specifically designed to infiltrate and destroy.

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