Stuxnet Increasingly Sounding Like A Movie Plot

from the made-for-hollywood dept

Like many people, I've been following the story of the Stuxnet worm with great interest. As you probably know, this worm was apparently designed to infect Iranian nuclear operations to create problems -- and supposedly setting back their nuclear operations quite a bit. The NY Times came out with a fascinating investigative report about the background of Stuxnet over the weekend, and it's worth a read. What I found most entertaining was the rather Hollywood-trickery angle by which Stuxnet did its dirty work:
The worm itself now appears to have included two major components. One was designed to send Iranís nuclear centrifuges spinning wildly out of control. Another seems right out of the movies: The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.
That latter part is, indeed, right out of a movie. I guess sometimes truth does mimic fiction. That said, I'm still trying to figure out how or why Iran allowed any sort of outside code or computers into their nuclear operations.

Filed Under: iran, stuxnet


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2011 @ 9:31am

    CIA Involvment

    I listened to a NPR radio story about how the CIA knew that the Pakistani scientists were developing technology and trying to sell it to Iran and Libya. Instead of arresting the scientist, they decided to make it easier for him to get some materials like centrifuges and vacuums but first went to the manufacturers to sabotage the devices so that they would not work properly. Then they sold the items on the black market and it got into the hands of the Iranians. When the Iranians tried the devices, they didn't work properly and caused some damage, but the Iranians were able to figure out the flaws and fixed them. So they had fully functional nuclear equipment that they would not have had if it were not for the CIA. Then, Stuxnet came and it was designed to destroy those centrifuges and vacuums. Link to the book on NPR

    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/04/132629443/the-fallout-of-the-cias-race-to-get-khan

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