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December 17, 2010

Experts: Yup, Stuxnet Can And Probably Will Be Used Against America's Computer-Controlled Infrastructure

The downside of letting the Genie out of the bottle. But then, this Genie did an awful lot of good.

Blowback:

If retooled slightly, Stuxnet could be directed to target a wide swath of critical infrastructure facilities, rather than a narrow target such as Iran's nuclear fuel-enrichment facilities and nuclear power plant, the eight-page CRS synopsis warns, quoting researchers and other analysts.

"Depending on the severity of the attack, the interconnected nature of the affected critical infrastructure facilities, and government preparation and response plans, entities and individuals relying on these facilities could be without life sustaining or comforting services for a long period of time," the study's summary states. "The resulting damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure could threaten many aspects of life, including the government’s ability to safeguard national security interests."

...

The report quotes Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, executive director of the European Network and Information Security Agency, as saying in October that “Stuxnet is really a paradigm shift, as Stuxnet is a new class and dimension of malware." He went on to call it a "first strike" weapon that is "one of the first organized, well prepared attacks against major industrial resources. This has tremendous effect on how to protect national (critical infrastructure) in the future.”

For those who can't get enough of Stuxnet speculation, a writer of Forbes finds his own pet likely culprit -- China, oddly enough.

On one hand, they have the interest in such attacks and the talent to pull them off, as demonstrated by their Google hack. On the other hand, I don't see China as acting heroically to save the world community against one of its biggest trading partners and allies.


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posted by Ace at 01:27 PM

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