The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability

Description:

In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide.

Creator(s):
Location(s): Iran
Creation Date: December 9, 2010
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection(s):
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Creator (Author):
Kerr, Paul K.

Analyst in Nonproliferation

Creator (Author):
Rollins, John

Specialist in Terrorism and National Security

Creator (Author):
Theohary, Catherine A.

Analyst in National Security Policy and Information Operations

Publisher Info:
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Date(s):
  • Creation: December 9, 2010
Coverage:
Place
Iran
Description:

In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide.

Physical Description:

9 pages.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection:
Congressional Research Service Reports
Identifier:
Resource Type: Report
Format: Text