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Here's how the Stuxnet Virus could be used against the U.S.
WASHINGTON: The cat is out of the bag: The United States is the first known country to carry out a sustained cyber attack with the intent of destroying another country's infrastructure.
Not only has the Stuxnet technology been instantly democratized but it's also highly susceptible to being reverse engineered. In March, he aired his concerns with 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft, before America's role in creating Stuxnet was confirmed:
Kroft: Sounds a little bit like Pandora's box.
Kroft: Whoever launched this attack--
McGurk: They opened up the box. They demonstrated the capability. They showed the ability and the desire to do so. And it's not something that can be put back.
Kroft: If somebody in the government had come to you and said, "Look, we're thinking about doing this. What do you think?" What would you have told them?
McGurk: I would have strongly cautioned them against it because of the unintended consequences of releasing such a code.
What sort of unintended consequences? According to McGurk, it has given countries "like Russia and China, not to mention terrorist groups and gangs of cybercriminals for hire, a textbook on how to attack key U.S. installations." Those types of installations include U.S. nuclear power reactors, electric companies, and other industrial facilities controlling everything from chemicals to baby formula, according to McGurk
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 same New York Times article confirms that after wrecking the Siemens' controllers at Natanz, STUXNET "inadvertently" escaped into the wild. Now anyone who knows how computer malware operates understands full well that malware does not stay confined in any system for very long. It is impossible to keep malware confined in a single system if the operators do not know it is there and take steps to isolate it. In the case of Natanz, STUXNET was inserted into the computers by a bribed technician via a memory stick, then immediately escaped back out on a scientist's laptop.