Stuxnet Virus

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By Sundeero
Words 1195
Pages 5
Stuxnet Virus
According to counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, Stuxnet was a weaponized malware computer worm. Stuxnet was launched in mid-2009, it did major damage to Iran’s nuclear program in 2010 and then spread to computers all over the world (Clarke, 2012).
Type of Breach
The Stuxnet is a computer worm, “it is a digital ghost with countless lines of code… it was able to worm its way into Iran’s nuclear fuel enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran” (Clarke, 2012). A worm is a program that spreads copies of itself through a network and a worm can also spread copies of itself as a stand-alone program (Pfleeger & Pfleeger, 2007).
How the Breach Occurred
On June 17, 2010, Sergey Ulasen, head of a small computer security firm called VirusBlokAda, was going his through e-mail when a report caught his attention. A computer belonging to an Iranian customer was caught in a reboot loop; it was “shutting down and restarting repeatedly despite efforts by operators to take control of it. It appeared the machine was infected with a virus” (Zetter, 2011).
Ulasen’s research team got hold of the virus infecting their client’s computers. They realized it was using a “zero-day” exploit to spread (Zetter, 2011). Zero-days are the hacking world’s most potent weapons: The virus exploits vulnerabilities in software that are not yet known to the software maker or antivirus vendors. They’re also exceedingly rare; it takes considerable skill and persistence to find such vulnerabilities and exploit them (Zetter, 2011).
In this example, the exploit allowed the virus to spread from one computer to another via infected USB sticks. The vulnerability was in the LNK file of Windows Explorer, a fundamental component of Microsoft Windows (Zetter, 2011). Once an infected USB stick was inserted into a computer, “as Explorer automatically scanned the contents of the stick, the exploit code…...

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