The Stuxnet Virus Essay

1704 Words Sep 23rd, 2011 7 Pages
John Velarosa
Professor Ingram D. Rogers
August 3rd 2011
The Stuxnet Virus

The Stuxnet Virus
What diplomacy could not achieve, sanctions could not silent, and for which a military option was not viable, a cyber attack quietly accomplished.
Kim Zetter an investigative reporter with Wired Magazine online calls Stuxnet, “a piece of software that would ultimately make history as the world’s first real cyberweapon.” (Zetter, 2011, sec. 1)
In his article, Is “Stuxnet” the best malware ever? Gregg Keizer of Computer World says:
“The Stuxnet worm is a "groundbreaking" piece of malware so devious in its use of unpatched vulnerabilities, so sophisticated in its multipronged approach, that the security
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On 26 September 2010, Iran's state news agency reported that computers at its Bushehr nuclear power plant had been infected.
The New York Times article, Israeli Test on Worm called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay, describes the complex function of Stuxnet in very simple terms:
“One part of the program is designed to lie dormant for long periods, and then speed up the machines so that the spinning rotors in the centrifuges wobble and then destroy themselves. Another part, called a “man in the middle” in the computer world, sends out those false sensor signals to make the system believe everything is running smoothly. That prevents a safety system from kicking in, which would shut down the plant before it could self-destruct.”
The same article further quotes Ralph Langer, widely credited for having solved Stuxnet, as saying: “Code analysis makes it clear that Stuxnet is not about sending a message or proving a concept,” and later saying “It is about destroying its targets with utmost determination in military style.”
Stuxnet was designed to seek out its target, cripple it beyond repair without causing any collateral damage; stay lurking in the shadows to continue to strike, all without leaving any conclusive evidence of who sent it on its mission in the first place. Needless to say, it

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