Stuxnet malware: Tip of the spear?

Dec. 9, 2010
A recent story about Stuxnet malware has been getting a lot of buzz lately. We covered the Stuxnet story in its early stages, when it was thought to mainly target WinCC, software used to program Siemens industrial control systems. Much of the mainstream ...

A recent story about Stuxnet malware has been getting a lot of buzz lately. We covered the Stuxnet story in its early stages, when it was thought to mainly target WinCC, software used to program Siemens industrial control systems. Much of the mainstream press at the time was calling Stuxnet a "worm." But when I corresponded with Siemens on the story, the company itself called the malware a "Trojan." To be helpful, we posted a discussion on the differences between a worm, a virus, and a Trojan.

Then, in a comment to this item, our Electronic editor Bob Repas says, "The Stuxnet malware actually makes use of all three vectors of infection. It will copy itself to a flash drive, or attempt to infect other computers on a networked system without any human intervention, thus giving it worm action. It can also infect from a person running the software (trojan), and as a virus piggybacking on the command and control actions of Seimens WinCC systems, a type of SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) product used for manufacturing, to infect other WinCC systems. The malware had four zero-day exploits … attack vectors no one else knew existed until they were found in an analysis of the Stuxnet code. The sophistication of the malware indicates there was major backing, possibly even that of a government, in its development. Of course, the two most likely targets to blame about that are the U.S. and Israel."

Interestingly, in my in-box today is an updated podcast of the Stuxnet story from Nick Younker of the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement.

Sponsored Recommendations

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.

MONITORING RELAYS — TYPES AND APPLICATIONS

May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Solenoid Valve Basics: What They Are, What They Do, and How They Work

May 13, 2024
A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device used to control the flow of a liquid or gas. It is comprised of two features: a solenoid and a valve. The solenoid is an electric...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!