Risk
1/16/2011
07:48 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Report: Stuxnet Joint Israeli-U.S. Operation

A story published this weekend adds evidence to what many have suspected all along: that the Stuxnet worm was nation-state designed and developed to set-back Iran's nuclear ambitions.

A story published this weekend adds evidence to what many have suspected all along: that the Stuxnet worm was nation-state designed and developed to set-back Iran's nuclear ambitions.According to unnamed sources in a story published in the New York Times Saturday, the Stuxnet worm was a two year long operation coordinated among the United States and Israel.

The Stuxnet worm was discovered this summer, and is the first publicly known worm that can snoop and re-program industrial control systems. And is widely believed to target Iranian nuclear centrifuges thought by many countries to be part of a weapons program.

According to the story, Stuxnet was thoroughly tested at the guarded Dimona complex in the Negev desert. It was at that site where Israel tested Stuxnet against equipment built to closely match what Iran was running at its controversial Natanz installation.

The paper also said that the U.S. Idaho National Laboratory identified vulnerabilities in the Seimens systems in use by Iran.

The worm, also in the report, is credited with not only with the ability to disrupt Iran's nuclear centrifuges but to only (incredibly) feed fake data back to technicians that made it appear all was well with the equipment:

The worm itself now appears to have included two major components. One was designed to send Iran's nuclear centrifuges spinning wildly out of control. Another seems right out of the movies: The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.

The worm is credited with sending back the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program by several years.

It's impossible to tell if these reports are accurate. But I do believe we'll soon know who the creators of the Stuxnet worm are exactly.

No matter who created this worm, it's certainly changed the way we have to think about defending industrial control systems and our own critical infrastructure. That's because if Iranian systems are vulnerable to such attacks – so are ours.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9688
Published: 2015-03-05
Unspecified vulnerability in the Ninja Forms plugin before 2.8.10 for WordPress has unknown impact and remote attack vectors related to admin users.

CVE-2015-2214
Published: 2015-03-05
NetCat 5.01 and earlier allows remote attackers to obtain the installation path via the redirect_url parameter to netshop/post.php.

CVE-2015-2215
Published: 2015-03-05
Open redirect vulnerability in the Services single sign-on server helper (services_sso_server_helper) module for Drupal allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via unspecified parameters.

CVE-2015-2216
Published: 2015-03-05
SQL injection vulnerability in ecomm-sizes.php in the Photocrati theme 4.x for WordPress allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the prod_id parameter.

CVE-2015-2218
Published: 2015-03-05
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the wp_ajax_save_item function in wonderpluginaudio.php in the WonderPlugin Audio Player plugin before 2.1 for WordPress allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) item[name] or (2) item[customcss] parameter in a w...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.