who created stuxnet

[154][155], Sandro Gaycken from the Free University Berlin argued that the attack on Iran was a ruse to distract from Stuxnet's real purpose. [159], According to a report by Reuters, the NSA also tried to sabotage North Korea's nuclear program using a version of Stuxnet. Officials said that Stuxnet was developed as part of a classified program codenamed "Olympic Games," which was begun under President Bush, and which Obama ordered to be accelerated. Iran likely cleaned the malware from its control systems. It's now widely accepted that Stuxnet was created by the intelligence agencies of the United States and Israel. After months of waiting for the information to be relayed, the National Security (NSA) and Israeli computer experts created a worm (Stuxnet) that would allow them to attack from within the plant. [6] The Stuxnet virus that decimated Iranian nuclear facilities was created by the NSA and co-written by Israel, Edward Snowden has confirmed. He later plead guilty for lying to FBI agents pursuing an investigation into the leak. [166], In May 2012, the new malware "Flame" was found, thought to be related to Stuxnet. What is Stuxnet? Here are some selected foul-ups: “The company developed the worm itself and then used it for self-promotion through the mass media”. A diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks showed how the United States was advised to target Iran's nuclear abilities through 'covert sabotage'. [30][153] In 2019 it was reported that an Iranian mole working for the Dutch intelligence at the behest of Israel and the CIA inserted the Stuxnet virus with a USB flash drive or convinced another person working at the Natanz facility to do so. The effort failed, however, because North Korea's extreme secrecy and isolation made it impossible to introduce Stuxnet into the nuclear facility. Hadassah was the birth name of the former Jewish queen of Persia, Queen Esther. As part of the US-Israel strategy, young Iranian scientists were assassinated. [74] Siemens also advises immediately upgrading password access codes. [22] In 2017, a group of hackers known as The Shadow Brokers leaked a massive trove of tools belonging to Equation Group, including new versions of both exploits compiled in 2010, showing significant code overlaps as both Stuxnet's exploits and Equation Group's exploits were developed using a set of libraries called "Exploit Development Framework" also leaked by The Shadow Brokers. This virus operated in three steps. Developing its many abilities would have required a team of highly capable programmers, in-depth knowledge of industrial processes, and an interest in attacking industrial infrastructure. | Sign up for CSO newsletters. The Bush and Obama administrations believed that if Iran were on the verge of developing atomic weapons, Israel would launch airstrikes against Iranian nuclear facilities in a move that could have set off a regional war. The worm then propagates across the network, scanning for Siemens Step7 software on computers controlling a PLC. Stuxnet A powerful computer worm, likely created in 2005, which is responsible for the destriction of an entire country's nuclear program. With more than 30,000 IP addresses affected in Iran, an official said that the infection was fast spreading in Iran and the problem had been compounded by the ability of Stuxnet to mutate. In July 2008, INL and Siemens publicly announced flaws in the control system at a Chicago conference; Stuxnet exploited these holes in 2009. Digital certificates are things that (at least used to) guarantee that one can trust a file. Liam O'Murchu, who's the director of the Security Technology and Response group at Symantec and was on the team there that first unraveled Stuxnet, says that Stuxnet was "by far the most complex piece of code that we've looked at — in a completely different league from anything we’d ever seen before." [157], Stratfor Documents released by WikiLeaks suggest that the International Security Firm 'Stratfor' believe that Israel is behind Stuxnet – "But we can't assume that because they did Stuxnet that they are capable of doing this blast as well". [165] The main component used in Duqu is designed to capture information[59] such as keystrokes and system information. That meant that it had to be infected via USB sticks transported inside by intelligence agents or unwilling dupes, but also meant the infection should have been easy to contain. [115], On 29 November 2010, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated for the first time that a computer virus had caused problems with the controller handling the centrifuges at its Natanz facilities. In Schouwenberg’s view, this may mean that the authors thought Stuxnet wasn’t moving fast enough, or had not hit its target, so they created a more aggressive delivery mechanism. "[49] Its current name is derived from a combination of some keywords in the software (".stub" and "mrxnet.sys"). On 28 December 2011, Kaspersky Lab's director of global research and analysis spoke to Reuters about recent research results showing that the platform Stuxnet and Duqu both originated in 2007, and is being referred to as Tilded due to the ~d at the beginning of the file names. They claimed that the world's major nuclear arsenals are focusing on the wrong problem. [163][164] Symantec, based on this report, continued the analysis of the threat, calling it "nearly identical to Stuxnet, but with a completely different purpose", and published a detailed technical paper. Stuxnet was the first publicly known instance in which a cyber operation caused physical damage outside of a controlled testing environment. The malware has both user mode and kernel mode rootkit ability under Windows,[64] and its device drivers have been digitally signed with the private keys of two public key certificates that were stolen from separate well-known companies, JMicron and Realtek, both located at Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan. Symantecestimates that the group develop… Joint effort and other states and targets, Targeting military command, control, communications and intelligence. Alex Gibney's 2016 documentary Zero Days covers the phenomenon around Stuxnet. [158], In July 2013, Edward Snowden claimed that Stuxnet was cooperatively developed by the United States and Israel. It is currently agreed upon that this worm was designed as a cyber weapon to attack the development of Iran's nuclear development program. [91] However Langner more recently, at a TED conference, recorded in February 2011, stated that, "My opinion is that the Mossad is involved, but that the leading force is not Israel. Many in the U.S. believed the spread was the result of code modifications made by the Israelis; then-Vice President Biden was said to be particularly upset about this. Stuxnet remains to be a mystery to many security researchers in the sense that they speculated it was created by a government hinting at digital warfare. An early version of Stuxnet contained code to propagate infections via USB drives that is nearly identical to a Flame module that exploits the same vulnerability. In this way, the malware is able to install itself on PLC devices unnoticed, and subsequently to mask its presence from WinCC if the control software attempts to read an infected block of memory from the PLC system. [160], Gholamreza Jalali, Iran's chief of the National Passive Defence Organisation (NPDO), claims that his country fended off a Stuxnet-like attack targeting the country's telecom infrastructure. Who created Stuxnet? Many of the stories and comments surrounding Stuxnet made me ROFL! [131] American presidential advisor Gary Samore also smiled when Stuxnet was mentioned,[58] although American officials have suggested that the virus originated abroad. [104], The ISIS report further notes that Iranian authorities have attempted to conceal the breakdown by installing new centrifuges on a large scale. [32][87][88] The self-destruct and other safeguards within the code implied that a Western government was responsible, or at least is responsible for its development. Stuxnet is a computer worm, reportedly developed and launched by the United States and Israel, that specifically targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that control the automation of electromechanical processes, such as those used for centrifuges. First, it analyzed and targeted Windows networks and computer systems. [104][105], The worm worked by first causing an infected Iranian IR-1 centrifuge to increase from its normal operating speed of 1,064 hertz to 1,410 hertz for 15 minutes before returning to its normal frequency. It was, according to many analysts, created by a state actor, and while Stuxnet was not the first cyberwar attack in history it was arguably the most sophisticated to date. Other experts believe that a US-Israel cooperation is unlikely because "the level of trust between the two countries' intelligence and military establishments is not high. An exploit directed at a zero-day is called a zero-day exploit, or zero-day attack.[179]. [61] The worm then uses other exploits and techniques such as peer-to-peer remote procedure call (RPC) to infect and update other computers inside private networks that are not directly connected to the Internet. Despite its unparalleled ability to spread and its widespread infection rate, Stuxnet does little or no harm to computers not involved in uranium enrichment. He reported that his company had begun the cleanup process at Iran's "sensitive centres and organizations. Its purpose was not just to infect PCs but to cause real-world physical effects. Stuxnet 1.10 attacked Siemens PLC equipment that ran the Natanz plant's centrifuges. [150] Frank Rieger stated that three European countries' intelligence agencies agreed that Stuxnet was a joint United States-Israel effort. The code for the Windows injector and the PLC payload differ in style, likely implying collaboration. The FAS report was reviewed by an official with the IAEA who affirmed the study. A tale of malware, AC/DC, and Iran's nukes", "Iran 'fends off new Stuxnet cyber attack, "Stuxnet, gone rogue, hit Russian nuke plant, space station", "Experts Warn of New Windows Shortcut Flaw", "How digital detectives deciphered Stuxnet, the most menacing malware in history", "Stuxnet opens cracks in Iran nuclear program", "Myrtus and Guava: the epidemic, the trends, the numbers", "Researchers say Stuxnet was deployed against Iran in 2007", "Stuxnet Under the Microscope, Revision 1.31", "Super Virus A Target For Cyber Terrorists", "Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay", "Conficker Worm: Help Protect Windows from Conficker", "Creating Malware using the Stuxnet LNK Exploit", "Blockbuster Worm Aimed for Infrastructure, But No Proof Iran Nukes Were Target", "Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-061 – Critical", "Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-046 – Critical", "Ralph's Step-By-Step Guide to Get a Crack at Stuxnet Traffic and Behaviour", "Vulnerability Summary for CVE-2010-2772", "SIMATIC WinCC / SIMATIC PCS 7: Information concerning Malware / Virus / Trojan", "Siemens warns Stuxnet targets of password risk", "Siemens: Stuxnet Worm Hit Industrial Systems", "Stuxnet also found at industrial plants in Germany", "Repository of Industrial Security Incidents", "DHS National Cyber Security Division's CSSP", "ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control System Security", "Industrial communication networks – Network and system security – Part 2-1: Establishing an industrial automation and control system security program", International Electrotechnical Commission, "Stuxnet worm is the 'work of a national government agency, "Clues Emerge About Genesis of Stuxnet Worm", "Iran confirms Stuxnet found at Bushehr nuclear power plant", "Stuxnet malware is 'weapon' out to destroy ... Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant? [136][137] However, it may be that the "MYRTUS" reference is simply a misinterpreted reference to SCADA components known as RTUs (Remote Terminal Units) and that this reference is actually "My RTUs"–a management feature of SCADA. [131] According to The Telegraph, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a video celebrating operational successes of Gabi Ashkenazi, retiring Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, was shown at his retirement party and included references to Stuxnet, thus strengthening claims that Israel's security forces were responsible. The US Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) operates the Control System Security Program (CSSP). Operation Olympic Games was seen as a nonviolent alternative. [6] Stuxnet's design and architecture are not domain-specific and it could be tailored as a platform for attacking modern SCADA and PLC systems (e.g., in factory assembly lines or power plants), most of which are in Europe, Japan, and the US. Moreover, Stuxnet did not lower the production of low enriched uranium (LEU) during 2010. Stuxnet is an extremely sophisticated computer worm that exploits multiple previously unknown Windows zero-day vulnerabilities to infect computers and spread. "[58] While the worm is promiscuous, it makes itself inert if Siemens software is not found on infected computers, and contains safeguards to prevent each infected computer from spreading the worm to more than three others, and to erase itself on 24 June 2012.[47]. ... COVID-19 has created … The original Stuxnet malware attack targeted the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used to automate machine processes. Hackers working for the GAO were able to penetrate DoD systems undetected in part using default passwords found on the internet.[172][relevant? [62][94][95] Langner called the malware "a one-shot weapon" and said that the intended target was probably hit,[96] although he admitted this was speculation. In 2020, researcher Facundo Muñoz found evidence suggesting that Equation Group collaborated with Stuxnet developers in 2009 by lending them at least one zero-day exploit[20], and one exploit from 2008[21] that was being actively used in-the-wild by the Conficker computer worm and Chinese hackers. "[O]ne of the great technical blockbusters in malware history". How would other countries have reacted if Stuxnet damaged their infrastructure, especially once they discovered who created the worm? It is believed to have been created by the U.S. and Israel in order to attack and slow down Iran’s nuclear program. 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