November 19th, 2010 11:33 EST
Stuxnet: The Most Dangerous Computer Worm Of All Time?
"Stuxnet, the seemingly unstoppable Windows operating system worm, slithered into the spotlight on Capitol Hill.
"Testifying at a hearing held this morning by the Senate Committee on Homeland and Security Affairs, Dean Turner, director of Symantec`s Global Intelligence Network for Symantec Security Response, called Stuxnet "one of the most complex threats we have analyzed to date."
One tantalizingly distinctive function Stuxnet performs is that it sets an infection marker with the value "19790509, " according to this FAQ compiled by security firm F-Secure. Those numbers correspond to a specific date, May, 9 1979. On that day, Jewish-Iranian businessman, Habib Elghanian , was executed in Iran for allegedly spying for Israel, F-Secure points out."
The Stuxnet computer worm that infected Iran`s reactor was especially designed to disrupt the operation of uranium enrichment centrifuges, and we can only hope that it was successful in its objective.
A cyber attack against Iran`s nuclear installations, is less expensive and has less adverse political ramifications than a military strike.
If Israel dispatches jets to attack Iran`s nuclear buildings, America will pay a heavy price economically and politically. The United States will be blamed, and the OPEC nations may even stop selling us oil.
Although Stuxnet was created to disrupt Iran`s nuclear activities, more than 100,000 computer have been infected throughout the world.
Iran`s nuclear facilities aren`t the only computer-driven facilities that are vulnerable to this malicious and incredibly destructive worm. Manufacturing plants, pharmaceutical installations, power stations, chemicals station, water-treatment plants are all vulnerable. The list is endless...
Most Americans are happy that this worm may have comprised Iran`s nuclear capabilities, but who the hell knows who will be the next victim.