Where most cases of malware attacks have been motivated by financial reward or general disruption, Stuxnet has been clearly designed to target critical infrastructure. The worm operates through external Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), meaning that it can pass to computers not connected to the internet via transportable plug-in data drives.
The program rose to public attention this month when it infected Iranian industrial plants. Cyber analysts believe that the originator of the worm will be exposed soon and agree that the developers are a specialist team with in-depth knowledge of the targeted systems, with most suggestions indicating a nation state effort to be behind its creation.
Until the attack on Iranian infrastructure, experts widely understood the concept of cyber warfare to have been an eventuality rather than a reality. This event now places us in a new era where cyber warfare is no longer theoretical and action and discussion is vital to ensure the protection of critical infrastructure on a global scale.
The issues surrounding the Stuxnet attack and the possible ramifications for the coming year will be analyzed at Defence IQ's 2010 Cyber Warfare conference, to be held between January 27-28 at the American Square Conference Centre in London. Expert speakers are confirmed for the event which will also include talks on NATO doctrine, structuring European and global response, and the issues of international cyber law.
# # #
IQPC International leverages a global research base of best practices to produce an unrivaled portfolio of problem-solving conferences. Each year we offer approximately 2,000 worldwide conferences, seminars, and related learning programs.