The way that Stuxnet computer worm can disable nuclear facilities

How Stuxnet works: what the forensic evidence reveals, Telegraph, 21 Jan 2011. British security researcher Tom Parker has found evidence of two different clandestine teams of software developers at work inside the Stuxnet code. Here we detail what he found:……..

The Stuxnet payload, the part of the attack that makes and disguises alterations to nuclear centrifuges, sets a new standard for precision targeting of malicious software.

Once it is inside a Windows computer the payload checks to see whether it is connected to a Siemens Step7 industrial control system. It then checks whether that system controls at least 33 “frequency converter drives” made by one of two manufacturers (one of which is Iranian), which control the speed of centrifuges.

Before it siezes power the payload performs a final test on whether the centrifuges are programmed to spin at the very high speeds used in uranium enrichment.

The damaging speed increases Stuxnet then orders are only in force for for short periods, weeks apart. It also disguises its modifications by switching off warning systems.

In summary, the Stuxnet payload is a highly sophisticated, precise sabateur, that only a team of advanced programmers could have created, with access to expensive and restricted equipment.

How Stuxnet works: what the forensic evidence reveals – Telegraph

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