Stuxnet Virus First Hit Iran over 5 Years AgoAdded: Saturday, March 16th, 2013
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Insecurity experts at Symantec have uncovered a version of the Stuxnet virus which was attacking Iran’s nuclear program as early as in 2007, i.e., years earlier than everyone thought before.
The malware became famous a couple years ago when it started shutting down the country’s nuclear program by taking out a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. Recently, the specialists from Symantec uncovered a piece of code, which they dubbed “Stuxnet 0.5”, among many versions of the malware they recovered from infected PCs.
It turned out that Stuxnet 0.5 was in development back in 2005 (at the time, Iran was still setting up its uranium enrichment facility) and deployed in 2007, when the Natanz facility went online. According to Symantec researcher Liam O'Murchu, it was really mind blowing the hackers were thinking about creating such project 8 years ago. But it appeared that the cyber weapon was powerful enough to cripple output at Natanz 6 years ago.
It might have been that the malware only damaged centrifuges without destroying enough to make the security experts suspicious. It is still unclear what kind of damage Stuxnet 0.5 caused. Security company explained that it was meant to attack the Natanz facility by opening and closing valves which fed uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges, without the knowledge of the operators of the plant.
Stuxnet 0.5 worked similarly to other versions that sabotaged the enrichment process by changing the speeds of the gas-spinning centrifuges. Insecurity experts announced they have now uncovered 4 different versions of Stuxnet and there are likely others that haven’t been discovered yet. In the meanwhile, researchers are still short on hard evidence to find out who is behind the dangerous malware.
March 16th,2013Posted by:
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