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The Stuxnet worm may strike again, U.S. officials warn, possibly posing a significant threat to government attempts to improve cyber-defense measures.
Cyber-security experts testified on Tuesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, saying the infamous virus is capable of morphing to attack industrial compounds across the world.
The Department of Homeland Security says it has been studying Stuxnet ever since the worm hit centrifuges in Iran's nuclear program one year ago. While most companies are now insulated against Stuxnet attacks on the Siemens technology controlling their industrial processes, the virus may potentially mutate to evade security systems.
Some security experts, however, point out the irony in this situation, as Stempfley and McGurk's testimony follows accusations that the U.S. government itself helped create the virus. Those who believe the U.S. aided Israel in creating Stuxnet blame both nations for releasing the virus into the breach for hackers to modify and send back at critical U.S. infrastructure.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon outlined a strategy for combating cybercrime, laying down five pillars that include classifying cyberspace as a military "operational domain," like land, sea, air and space.