Russian nuclear power plant infected by Stuxnet malware says cyber-security expert
Eugene Kasperksy warns goverments engaged in cyber warfare that "everything you do - it's a boomerang: it will get back to you."
Stuxnet, a malware program widely believed to have been created by the US and Israel, has infected a Russian nuclear power plant, according to cybersecurity expert Eugene Kaspersky.
Speaking at the Canberra Press Club 2013 in Australia, Kasperksy recounted a story from “the Stuxnet time” when a friend of his working in an unnamed nuclear power plant reported that the plant’s computers were “badly infected by Stuxnet”.
Kaspersky criticized government departments responsible for engineering cyber-attacks, saying: “They don’t understand that in cyberspace, everything you do - it’s a boomerang: it will get back to you.”
The Stuxnet virus was first discovered in June 2010 and was found to specifically target industrial control systems manufactured by Siemens.
The initial target of the virus is widely thought to have been the centrifuges used in Iran’s uranium enrichment program. The country’s then-President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed in November 2010 that Stuxnet had “managed to create problems for a limited number of our centrifuges.”
Although the goal of the virus was extremely specific, its method of proliferation was indiscriminate and the code has since been found on computers across the world. According to a report from the New York Times in 2012, the US administration chose to continue cyber-attacks against Iran even after the existence of Stuxnet became public.
Discussing the use of cyber-warfare by nation states, Kaspersky said: “They don’t understand that it’s possible to shut down power plants, power grids, the space station. They don’t know what to do.”
Kaspersky also claimed that even the International Space Station (ISS) is not immune to viruses, although he did not indicate that it was Stuxnet that had made its way onboard.
“The space guys from time-to-time are coming with USBs, which are infected,” said Kaspersky. “I'm not kidding. I was talking to Russian space guys and they said, 'yeah, from time-to-time there are viruses on the space station.’”
Although this may sound alarming it’s not unprecedented. In 2008 Nasa admitted that a virus designed to steal passwords had found its way on to the Windows laptops being used on the ISS.
"This is not the first time we have had a worm or a virus," said NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries at the time. "It’s not a frequent occurrence, but this isn’t the first time."
The virus in question only affected computers used by astronauts for non-essential business such as email and science experiments, and is widely thought to have been brought on board – as Kaspersky suggests – with an infected USB stick.
Life & Style blogs
This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
Tinder Plus: premium service launches, charging much more for those over 28
My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin: How I outwitted the Gestapo
Drinking three to five cups of a coffee a day could reduce risk of heart attacks, study finds
Running test reveals whether you will die in the next decade
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to rapid customer growth, a...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Are you someone that "makes th...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join this w...