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US and Israel were behind Stuxnet claims researcher

Started by Tank, March 05, 2011, 07:45:18 AM

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US and Israel were behind Stuxnet claims researcher

QuoteIsrael and the United States created the Stuxnet worm to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme, a leading security expert has claimed.

Ralph Langner told a conference in California that the malicious software was designed to cripple systems that could help build an Iranian bomb.

Mr Langner was one of the first researchers to show how Stuxnet could take control of industrial equipment.

It is widely believed that its target was machinery used to enrich uranium...

Makes interesting reading in that it illustrates the vulnerability of computers, in this case industrial Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), to malicious attack. CISCO systems, the largest seller of internet infrastructure hardware, make none of its own products. It subcontracts all the manufacturing process but has a very sophisticated internet based quality assurance system that pervades the systems of its suppliers. As Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) becomes pervasive the whole industrial process becomes vulnerable to cyber attack in a way previously impossible. Why would one need to transport a bomb into a nuclear power plant when one could conceivably make the reactor overload? Hopefully security systems in power-plants and oil refineries are secure against this sort of thing but with the widespread expertise in computer systems terrorists may never have to go anywhere near a facility to damage it. All modern passenger aircraft made by Boeing and Airbus are 'fly-by-wire' i.e. the pilot requests the planes computer to move a control surface, the computer can do what it likes. By simply inverting a single bit of information that input can be reversed and up becomes down. As usual it'll probably take a significant death toll to make people sit up and do anything about cyber attacks on the billions of processors that run our industrial and transport infrastructures.
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