Stuxnet Cyber Attack on Iran Stirs New Global Awareness

An estimated 60 per cent of computers affected by the dangerous worm known as, Stuxnet, were inside the boarders of Iran. This was the discovery after an apparent cyber attack has affected Iran’s first nuclear power station. The worm was uploaded through a flash drive. A small tool for transferring information among computers.

An attack of this nature is a quick reminder of how vulnerable a country’s infrastructure is to outside influences in technology. The Stuxnet worm was easily planted within a government’s nuclear power plant network, making it possible for hackers to have access to vital information; for how long nobody really knows yet.

Derek Reveron, professor of national security and a cyber expert at the Naval War School in Rhode Island, spoke about the importance of waking up to such an event, saying: “The Stuxnet worm is a wake up call to governments around the world. It is the first known worm to target industrial control systems and grants hackers unobstructed control of vital public infrastructures like power plants, dams and chemical facilities.”

The worm becomes active by taking advantage of security holes in Microsoft Windows and a key Siemens industrial control system.

Experts have come to an agreement that Iran was the likely target, but damage to other systems has likely taken place. Iran has been affected as well.

Reveron offered more insight on how difficult it is to control this type of attack, saying: “In some cases, cyber attacks like biological attacks are very difficult to control. If a government were to launch a cyber attack, the potential for fratricide is very great.”

There are several possible players in the global technology game who are probably capable of such an attack. Remember, this worm was believed to have been uploaded on an Iranian computer, by a flash drive.

The short list of countries in question about this cyber attack with the Stuxnet worm includes Israel, Russia, China, Britain and the United States.