Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reprise on the Stuxnet worm: Q&A from Yahoo!, Webroot

Yahoo posted a Q&A on the Stuxnet Worm back in August which Webroot has reminded us of with a tweet. The link is here.

The worm seems to relate to the way Microsoft shows some shortcuts on the desktop. It may relate to the fact that touchpads on some laptops will try to create new shortcuts by mistake.

But Stuxnet appears to have been released with the idea that some people will take devices like USB flashes from home to work. The main harm could be in process control at power plants or manufacturing. There are some reports that Stuxnet is related to centrifuges in processing nuclear ores and was targeted at Iran’s controversial nuclear industry.

Major infrastructures like power grids are not supposed to be reachable from the public Internet. But as far back as 2002 there have been scattered reports of access points, and grids could be vulnerable to devices brought from other sites or from home and connected to work computers. Even military computers have been known to be infected this way.

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