Feeds

Stuxnet blitzed 5 Iranian factories over 10-month period

12,000 separate infections

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Stuxnet worm repeatedly attacked five industrial plants inside Iran over a 10-month period, according to new data collected by researchers from antivirus firm Symantec.

Three of the undisclosed organizations were targeted once, one was hit twice and one was targeted three times, members of Symantec's Security Response Team wrote in the report (PDF), which updates findings first released in September. The attacks took place in 12,000 separate infections in 2009 and 2010 and weren't discovered until July.

The new information was collected by researchers who monitored data recorded by Stuxnet itself. Attackers programmed the worm to store the location and type of each computer infected, most likely so the programmers would know when they successfully reached their intended target. Researchers have speculated that the malware was designed by Israel, the US, or another enemy of Iran that wanted to disrupt that country's nuclear ambitions.

The Symantec researchers said Stuxnet used two different techniques to sabotage centrifuge arrays, but that one, known as the 417 code, had been disabled. The worm first infected Windows-based industrial-control systems while it searched for software made by Siemens Corporation that monitors critical factory operations.

The researchers discovered three or possibly four versions of Stuxnet. The first was completed just 12 hours before the first successful infection in June 2009. They guess that it was the result of an malware-tainted email that was opened, or a booby-trapped USB device that was connected to a computer.

More from Symantec and The New York Times are here and here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.