A report recently published by Symantec, the world’s largest maker of personal
computer security software, concludes that Siemens AG computer systems in Iran
were recently the primary target of a worm called Stuxnet. The worm is a
malicious program that attacks software used to control water-processing plants,
power grids and factories.
According to data compiled from a sample of
14,000 unique IP addresses affected by Stuxnet, nearly 60 percent of the
infected systems were in Iran.
Other countries substantially affected by
the worm included Indonesia and India.
“We have found out the software is
capable of sending data, and it tries to set up a connection via the Internet,”
Wieland Simon, a spokesman for Siemens, said. “We don’t know where the data is
Stuxnet was first detected by a Belarus-based anti-virus
company called VirusBlokAda, which initially found the program on the
an Iranian customer. According to analysts, the worm seeks out
systems, steals secret data and uploads it to the Internet.
written by security analysts at Symantec also noted that Stuxnet was
publicly widespread threat that has shown a possibility of gaining
industrial processes and placing that control in the wrong
Symantec did not intimate that it had any suspects in mind and
speculated that those responsible for the worm could be anyone from a
disgruntled employee or commercial competitor to a terrorist or actor in
Analysts believe Stuxnet has been in
circulation since January.