Information Warfare: Stuxnet Autopsy Fascinates And Frightens

 

Stuxnet, a computer worm (a computer program that constantly tries to copy itself to other computers) was designed as a weapons grade cyber weapon, and all the attention it is getting now is helping to make similar weapons even more effective. Hundreds of capable programmers have been taking Stuxnet apart, and openly discussing the results. While Stuxnet was probably created as a highly classified government project (Israel and the U.S., in a joint effort, are the most likely suspects), no one has taken credit for it. Thus Stuxnet belongs to no one, and everyone. The public discussion on the Internet has provided a bonanza of useful criticism of how Stuxnet was put together, often describing in detail how flaws could be fixed or features improved. But even when such details were not provided, the programmers picking apart Stuxnet usually mentioned what tools or techniques were needed to make the code more effective.

On the down side, this public autopsy of Stuxnet makes the inner workings of the worm software, and all the improvements, available to anyone. Then again, security professionals now have a much clearer idea of how this kind of weapon works, and this can make future attempts to use a Stuxnet-type weapon more difficult.

Information Warfare: Stuxnet Autopsy Fascinates And Frightens

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