Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects centrifuges at a uranium enrichment plant.
The Iranian government agency that oversees the country's nuclear facilities reported today that engineers are attempting to defend against "Stuxnet," a Windows-specific worm attacking industrial plants throughout the nation. The malware exploits a Windows vulnerability to seek out and compromise industrial systems made by Siemens. It has also been spotted in other countries, but Iranian targets appear to be the most frequently compromised, by far. Affected nuclear sites in Iran include those the US believes are part of a nuclear weapons program.
But the announcement raised suspicions, and new questions, about the origins and target of the worm, Stuxnet, which computer experts say is a far cry from common computer malware that has affected the Internet for years. A worm is a self-replicating malware computer program. A virus is malware that infects its target by attaching itself to programs or documents.
Stuxnet, which was first publicly identified some time ago, is aimed solely at industrial equipment made by Siemens that controls oil pipelines, electric utilities, nuclear facilities and other large industrial sites. While it is not clear that Iran was the main target -- the infection has also been reported in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and elsewhere -- a disproportionate number of computers inside Iran appear to have been struck, according to reports by computer security monitors.
More: New York Times
, NYT Bits Blog
, Al Jazeera
. Stuxnet was discovered this June
and has been the topic of discussion in security circles since; a Symantec advisory is here
Symantec plans to release more technical analysis of Stuxnet in a paper to be released at the Virus Bulletin Conference on September 29th.
German security researcher Ralph Langner has conducted some interesting work on Stuxnet. Note the "analysis" and "theory" provided here. The punchline: "Welcome to cyberwar."
Not a word about this on the English-language website for Iran's official news agency, not yet anyway.
Whisk yourself back to the days of bulky devices, outmoded physical media, and painfully obvious visual puns with these 1990s high-tech stock photos. Literal surfing and literal webs! Large format high resolution only $399 on some stock sites!
Anarchic Adjustment was a pioneering streetwear brand and artist collective that emerged from the London punk-skate-BMX-Xerox art scene in the mid-1980s and spread like a virus when founder Nick Philip moved to San Francisco and immersed himself in the early cyberculture. Immediately, Anarchic Adjustment became the clothier-of-choice for the likes of DJ Mixmaster Morris, Joi […]
Joi Ito (previously) — director of MIT Media Lab, former Creative Commons chief, investor, entrepreneur, and happy mutant — interviewed Barack Obama for a special, Obama-edited issue of Wired.
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]