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The Stuxnet Virus Essay

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John Velarosa
Professor Ingram D. Rogers
1106CSIA3014041
August 3rd 2011
The Stuxnet Virus

The Stuxnet Virus
Abstract:
What diplomacy could not achieve, sanctions could not silent, and for which a military option was not viable, a cyber attack quietly accomplished.
Kim Zetter an investigative reporter with Wired Magazine online calls Stuxnet, “a piece of software that would ultimately make history as the world’s first real cyberweapon.” (Zetter, 2011, sec. 1)
In his article, Is “Stuxnet” the best malware ever? Gregg Keizer of Computer World says:
“The Stuxnet worm is a "groundbreaking" piece of malware so devious in its use of unpatched vulnerabilities, so sophisticated in its multipronged approach, that the security
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or Israel, that Israeli intelligence tested aspects of the worm using centrifuges identical to Iran's at Israel’s Dimona complex. Even Siemens the German company cooperated with Idaho National Laboratories in the US to identify the vulnerabilities of computer controllers that the company sells to operate industrial machinery around the world. Not too long afterwards, those very vulnerabilities were exploited by Stuxnet.
2. Why a Cyber Attack?
Cyber warfare requires intellect not military might and a country does not have to be a military superpower to wage a cyber attack. Cyber attack tracks are much easier to cover and are easily attributable to another entity. While cyber attacks are only recently been declared by our military and political leadership as acts of war, compared to an actual physical military attack on another country life can go on as usual for most of the citizens on both sides of the conflict without the slightest idea that their country is at war. It does not cost billions of dollars to run or manage and is hardly a long-term commitment of hundreds of thousands of troops and the logistics to support them and their equipment at the front lines. In case of Iran, a cyber attack was the most viable option available to global powers because the Iranian regime did not hesitate to make threats against the United States and Israel should it have been attacked militarily to make it stop trying to produce nuclear
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