From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stuxnet is a computer worm discovered in June 2010 that is believed to have been created by the United States
and Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Stuxnet initially spreads via Microsoft Windows, and targets Siemens
industrial software and equipment. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems,
it is the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems, and the first to include a
The worm initially spreads indiscriminately, but includes a highly specialized malware payload that is designed to
target only Siemens supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that are configured to control and
monitor specific industrial processes. Stuxnet infects PLCs by subverting the Step-7 software application that
Different variants of Stuxnet targeted five Iranian organizations, with the probable target widely suspected to be
uranium enrichment infrastructure in Iran; Symantec noted in August 2010 that 60% of the infected
computers worldwide were in Iran. Siemens stated that the worm has not caused any damage to its
customers, but the Iran nuclear program, which uses embargoed Siemens equipment procured secretly, has
been damaged by Stuxnet. Kaspersky Lab concluded that the sophisticated attack could only have been
conducted "with nation-state support". This was further supported by the F-Secure's chief researcher
Mikko Hyppönen who commented in a Stuxnet FAQ, "That's what it would look like, yes".It has been
In May 2011, the PBS program Need To Know cited a statement by Gary Samore, White House Coordinator for
Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, in which he said, "we're glad they [the Iranians] are having
trouble with their centrifuge machine and that we – the US and its allies – are doing everything we can to make
sure that we complicate matters for them", offering "winking acknowledgement" of US involvement in Stuxnet.
According to The Daily Telegraph, a showreel that was played at a retirement party for the head of the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF), Gabi Ashkenazi, included references to Stuxnet as one of his operational successes as
the IDF chief of staff.
On 1 June 2012, an article in The New York Times said that Stuxnet is part of a U.S. and Israeli intelligence
operation called "Operation Olympic Games", started under President George W. Bush and expanded under
On 24 July 2012, an article by Chris Matyszczyk from cnet reported how the Atomic Energy Organization of
Iran e-mailed F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen to report a new instance of malware.
On 25 December 2012, an Iranian semi-official news agency announced there was a cyberattack by Stuxnet,
this time on the industries in the southern area of the country. The virus targeted a power plant and some other
A study of the spread of Stuxnet by Symantec showed that the main affected countries in the early days of the
infection were Iran, Indonesia and India:
Iran was reported to have "beefed up" its cyberwar capabilities following the Stuxnet attack, and has been
suspected of retaliatory attacks against U.S. banks.