Russian security software firm Kaspersky has claimed a recent, highly powerful worm attack was specifically aimed at national industrial targets, and had nation-state support and backing.
According to the firm, the Stuxnet worm’s ultimate aim was to access Simatic WinCC SCADA industrial control systems which monitor and control industrial, infrastructure, or facility-based processes. These systems are widely used in oil pipelines, power plants, large communication systems, airports, ships, and even military installations across the globe.
The company claims to have evidence the attack primarily affected Iran, had strong intelligence data and vast resources at its disposal, and it's main objective was sabotage. The firm also believes that Stuxnet is a working prototype of a cyber-weapon, that "will lead to the creation of a new arms race in the world."
Kasperksy insists such an attack "could only be conducted with nation-state support and backing."
Speaking at the Kaspersky Security Symposium in Munich, Germany today, Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kaspersky Lab, described Stuxnet as 'the opening of Pandora’s Box.’
“I think that this is the turning point, this is the time when we got to a really new world, because in the past there were just cyber-criminals, now I am afraid it is the time of cyber-terrorism, cyber-weapons and cyberwars, This malicious program was not designed to steal money, send spam or grab personal data. This piece of malware was designed to sabotage plants, to damage industrial systems."
"I am afraid this is the beginning of a new world. Twenty years ago we were faced with cyber-vandals, ten years ago we were faced with cyber-criminals, I am afraid now it is a new era of cyber-wars and cyber-terrorism.”