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Stuxnet's Earliest Known Version Discovered and Analyzed 77

An anonymous reader writes "Symantec researchers have discovered an older version of the infamous Stuxnet worm that caused the disruption at Iran's nuclear facility in Natanz: Stuxnet 0.5. According to a whitepaper released by the researchers at RSA Conference 2013, Stuxnet 0.5 has first been detected in the wild in 2007 when someone submitted it to the VirusTotal malware scanning service, but has been in development as early as November 2005. Unlike Stuxnet versions 1.x that disrupted the functioning of the uranium enrichment plant by making centrifuges spin too fast or too slow, this one was meant to do so by closing valves."
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Stuxnet's Earliest Known Version Discovered and Analyzed

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  • State sponsored (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk ( 795759 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:45PM (#43025529)
    Is there any doubt that this is government sanctioned? Who has the knowledge (or will) to write a program to disrupt centrifuges. Also this tidbit from the article: "Both the Flamer and Tilded platform code bases are different enough to suggest different developers were involved."
  • Re:State sponsored (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk ( 795759 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:01PM (#43025773)
    From the white paper: "PLC device attack code
    The code conducts an attack by closing valves in the six top rated cascades out of the possible 18 cascades. The states of two types of valves are modified:
    Centrifuge valves – a set of three valves (feed, product, tails) that work in unison per centrifuge to control uranium hexafluoride (UF6) flow into each centrifugeStage valves – one per stage to control UF6 flow into each stage
    Auxiliary valves – valves that control UF6 flow into or out of each stage (stage valve) or the cascade as a whole"

    Keep in mind, this is working backwards by dissecting the virus. The programmers would have to know this information up front to create the virus. I do not see anyone but "governments or their agents" creating this virus. Another explanation is naive.
  • Re:2005? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:24PM (#43026093)

    The only reason the private contractors were needed is because the private contractors lobbied for "small government" that got the govt IT employees laid off. (Nevermind that in-house govt IT ops always did their job at a reasonable cost, where over budget years late is considered a good turnout for a private contract job.)

    Ever wonder how every self-described libertarian here seems to be a private contractor?

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