Security Expert: U.S. ‘Leading Force’ Behind Stuxnet
One year ago, German cybersecurity expert Ralph Langner announced that he had found a computer worm designed to sabotage a nuclear facility in Iran. It’s called Stuxnet, and it was the most sophisticated worm Langner had ever seen.
In the year since, Stuxnet has been analyzed as a cyber-superweapon, one so dangerous it might even harm those who created it.
In the summer of 2010, Langner and his partners went to work analyzing a malicious software program that was turning up in some equipment. Langner Communications is a small firm in Hamburg, Germany, but Langner and the two engineers with whom he works know a lot about industrial control systems. What they found in Stuxnet left them flabbergasted.
“I’m in this business for 20 years, and what we saw in the lab when analyzing Stuxnet was far beyond everything we had ever imagined,” Langner says.
It was a worm that could burrow its way into an industrial control system, the kind of system used in power plants, refineries and nuclear stations. Amazingly, it ignored everything it found except the one piece of equipment it was seeking; when the worm reached its target, it would destroy it.
Several months ago there was an outstanding article detailing the work that went into the investigation to break down Stuxnet. At any time, they could have stopped their project because it wasn’t a threat to any of their clients, but they continued and it was amazing !!!