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Why Stuxnet could be the best malware ever

Experts believe worm could be state-backed

The Stuxnet virus, which infiltrates the systems used to run factories, may have been discovered only in June this year but has been labelled by some researchers as a "groundbreaking" piece of malware. We look at why Stuxnet could be the 'best' malware ever.

Experts have disagreed about when the Stuxnet attacks began - Kaspersky believes it was as early as July 2009, while Symantec traced attacks back to January 2010 - but they agree that the worm went undetected for months.

"We don't know if they succeeded or not, but I imagine that they got to the targets that they wanted," said O Murchu, citing the stealthy nature and sophistication of the worm.

"The command-and-control infrastructure of Stuxnet is very, very primitive, very basic," said Schouwenberg. "I think they were convinced that they would be able to do what they wanted before they were detected."

O Murchu will present a paper on Symantec's Stuxnet work at the Virus Bulletin security conference, which is slated to kick off on September 29 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Researchers from Microsoft and Kaspersky will present a separate paper at the same conference.

  1. Worm could be state-backed
  2. Never seen before
  3. Minimising the risk
  4. When did attacks begin?

See also: Does Sophos tool cure Windows shortcut attacks?

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