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Stuxnet is a computer worm that was discovered in June 2010. It was designed to attack industrial Programmable Logic Controllers or PLCs. PLCs allow the automation of electromechanical processes such as those used to control machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or centrifuges for separating nuclear material. Exploiting four zero-day flaws, Stuxnet functions by targeting machines using the Microsoft Windows operating system and networks, then seeking out Siemens Step7 software. Stuxnet reportedly compromised Iranian PLCs, collecting information on industrial systems and causing the fast-spinning centrifuges to tear themselves apart. 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 the automobile or power plants), the majority of which reside in Europe, Japan and the US.
Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges
Unlike most malware, Stuxnet does little harm to computers and networks that do not meet specific configuration requirements; "The attackers took great care to make sure that only their designated targets were hit...It was a marksman’s job." 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.
It is speculated that Stuxnet was created by United States and Israeli agencies to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Stuxnet initially spreads via Microsoft Windows, and targets Siemens industrial control systems. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems, nor the first publicly known intentional act of cyberwarfare to be implemented, it is the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems, and the first to include a programmable logic controller (PLC) rootkit.
I like your take on this, thanks for sharing your insights. There seems to be something bigger to this, I suspect that darkpos may have been developed and distributed to the criminal networks by a foreign country that may introduce more hacks to weaken the U.S. financially. The damage gets done and so many scammers are involved that it would not likely point back at the real perps. Blackpos is said to have originated in Russia or specifically the Ukraine. Seems like things have been heating up with Russia and the Ukraine lately hasn't it?