All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


RSA: Stuxnet dates back to 2005, Symantec reports

26 Feb 2013
Symantec logo

A recently-discovered build of a Stuxnet precursor could indicate that industrial malware is older and more widespread than originally believed, Symantec has reported.

Symantec said it had found a build of the Stuxnet attack tool which dates back to 2005 and uses different techniques to sabotage uranium enrichment facilities. Dubbed Stuxnet .05, the tool is believed to have been targeted at facilities in Iran.

Discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet malware infected systems in the Middle East with the intent of accessing uranium centrifuges within Iran. The malware then accessed the motors of the centrifuge and set them to a higher setting which would cause hardware to fail.

According to Symantec, the Stuxnet 0.5 build targets the valves which control the flow of gas into the centrifuge, causing pressure within the units to change and lead to hardware failures.

While no group has formally declared responsibility for building Stuxnet, the attack is widely believed to have been a collaboration between government agencies in the US and Israel. Leaked documents from the White House have suggested that the US is increasingly using cyber warfare as a means of espionage.

Francis deSouza, Symantec president of proucts and services, said that the discovery shows that cyber warfare and attacks on infrastructure are fare more pervasive and common than originally believed. He noted that attacks once thought to be the sole domain of traditional military powers are now available to nearly all nation-states.

"Before, it was really the top dozen to two dozen countries that were able to run a cyber war," he told conference attendees.

"That has changed dramatically, most countries now have access to very sophisticated cyber weapons. A very small country today can disrupt a country that is thousands of times bigger in GDP."

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Microsoft Azure outage

Is cloud computing reliable enough for business yet?
17%
8%
17%
58%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
BlackBerry Q5

BlackBerry Q5 video demo

We take a look at BlackBerry's semi-affordable BB10 device

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Solution analyst - Birmingham

Solution analyst - systems analysis / business analysis...

Trading Platform Engineers/Consultants - Global Financial Markets

Technical and Customer-facing roles driving complex...

Graduate Software Developer / Technical Support

Graduate Software Developer / Graduate Support Developer...

ERP Systems Lead

An excellent senior career opportunity for the right...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.