Menacing Malware: Stuxnet

A while back I read an extremely interesting article about computer malware called “Stuxnet”.  This was a virus, that most believed was designed by some nation, that interrupted Iran’s nuclear program.  It was so well designed that it took computer scientists and analysis from around the world to figure out how the bug was written.  Wikipedia describes Stuxnet as a “worm initially spreads indiscriminately, but includes a highly specialized malware payload that is designed to target only Siemens supervisory control and data acquisition(SCADA) systems that are configured to control and monitor specific industrial processes.  Stuxnet infects PLCs by subverting the Step-7 software application that is used to reprogram these devices”.  As a result, the devices would fail and would constantly have to be replaced.  This lead to Iran’s nuclear program being delayed by years.  More information, and an absolutely awesome read can be found here.

What captures my interest most about this article is the use of Cyberwarfare.  Many believe a country, assumably the United States, is behind the development of this malicious bug. However, no one knows for sure.  I believe as the realm of Big Data begins to increase, it becomes more and more important to protect all of this data.  However, if sophisticated malware such as Stuxnet is developed, that may become harder and harder to do.  Companies around the world spend millions of dollars to project confidential customer information, such as bank cards, etc.  Surely as more and more data is generated, it will become harder to protect.  If anyone has a chance to check out the article, let me know what you think.  It is a long article but I promise it is worth the read!

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