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A Silent Attack, but Not a Subtle One

September 27, 2010



As in real warfare, even the most carefully aimed weapon in computer warfare leaves collateral damage.

The Stuxnet worm was no different.

The most striking aspect of the fast-spreading malicious computer program—which has turned up in industrial programs around the world and which Iran said had appeared in the computers of workers in its nuclear project—may not have been how sophisticated it was, but rather how sloppy its creators were in letting a specifically aimed attack scatter randomly around the globe.

The malware was so skillfully designed that computer security specialists who have examined it were almost certain it had been created by a government and is a prime example of clandestine digital warfare. While there have been suspicions of other government uses of computer worms and viruses, Stuxnet is the first to go after industrial systems. But unlike those other attacks, this bit of malware did not stay invisible.

From The New York Times
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