Is Stuxnet back? A provincial defense official in southern Iran is claiming that one of the largest power plants in the country and other industrial sites were again targeted by the notorious virus reported to be the creation of the Israeli and American governments. In 2010, Tehran accused Israel and the US of targeting its nuclear facilities with cyberattacks.
This recent Stuxnet attack was successfully defeated, according to local Iranian civil defense chief Ali Akbar Akhavan. "We were able to prevent its expansion owing to our timely measures and the cooperation of skilled hackers," Akhavan said. Iran has repeatedly claimed to be the victim of cyber attacks from foreign states, and repeatedly claimed success in defeating them, the BBC News noted.
A Stuxnet attack today could be orchestrated by anyone
Stuxnet is a powerful worm that was written to attack industrial systems manufactured by global megabrand Siemens. The virus is introduced via an infected USB drive, then establishes communication with a remote server. Attackers can then copy data or take control of a plant's monitoring system. The Stuxnet code is 50 times as large as that of the average virus, a vice president at Symantec said during a talk earlier this year.
The virus is believed to be the first instance of a high-level, coordinated cyberattack against another nation by the United States. This latest attack, if it really occurred, could have been orchestrated by anyone. Stuxnet's source code was leaked online and the virus has infected computers in Indonesia, India, the United States, and elsewhere after an error allowed the worm to migrate online from its original target.