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Smart software designed to sabotage nuclear power plant

“This was assembled by a highly qualified team of experts, involving some with specific control system expertise,”

Software smart bomb fired at Iranian nuclear plant: experts, Google hosted news, By Glenn Chapman (AFP) –24 Sept 10, SAN FRANCISCO — Computer security experts are studying a scary new cyber weapon: a software smart bomb that may have been crafted to find and sabotage a nuclear facility in Iran. Malicious software, or malware, dubbed “Stuxnet” is able to recognize a specific facility’s control network and then destroy it, according to German computer security researcher Ralph Langne

“Welcome to cyber war,” Langner said in a post at his website. “This is sabotage.”

Langner has been analyzing Stuxnet since it was discovered in June and said the code had a technology fingerprint of the control system it was seeking and would go into action automatically when it found its target……

Stuxnet was tailored for Siemens supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other industrial facilities.

It traveled by sneaking onto USB memory sticks and was able to thereby hop from system to system without needing the Internet, according to Roel Schouwenberg, senior anti-virus researcher at Kaspersky Lab Americas.

Stuxnet is considered a malware “worm” because it burrows from machine to machine, replicating itself on the way…….

“When the operator looks at the plant, everything will look just fine,” Schouwenberg said. “Meanwhile, the machine will be overloading. Its ultimate goal is cyber sabotage.”

“Stuxnet manipulates a fast running process,” Langner explained at his website. “We can expect that something will blow up soon. Something big.”

The software saboteur has been found lurking on systems in India, Indonesia, Pakistan and elsewhere, but the heaviest infiltration appeared to be in Iran, according to software security researchers.

“This was assembled by a highly qualified team of experts, involving some with specific control system expertise,” Langner said…….

On August 31, Iranian atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi blamed “severe hot weather” for a delay in moving fuel rods into its Russian-built first nuclear power plant.

“Look at the Iranian nuclear program,” Langner said. “Strange — they are presently having some technical difficulties down there in Bushehr.”…

AFP: Software smart bomb fired at Iranian nuclear plant: experts

September 25, 2010 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | , , ,

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