Cyber Warfare: STUXNET Discovery and Evolution Essay

Cyber Warfare: STUXNET Discovery and Evolution Essay

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When we hear the word Stuxnet, we believe this to be one of the first incidents involving the term "Cyber Warfare". As the term Cyber War is still not exactly defined, we know that in the present day, cyber attacks are on the rise and are constantly happening around the world. The cyber domain introduces a new attack vector for military war. The event of Stuxnet brings people into perspective of the logical cyber and computer realms affecting the actual physical world. Although the events of Stuxnet are highly debatable because we don't know the true origins of the Stuxnet programming itself, we can come to the conclusion that cyber attacks using advanced persistent threats from state based organizations are very possible and are happening every day. The theory of Stuxnet is the belief that this worm was created by a highly organized team, which was probably funded by a government, and its target was specific SCADA systems based in IRAN in attempts to stop its nuclear facilities. We should be aware of the possibility of more advanced types of cyber attacks in the near future and Stuxnet is a great example for us to prepare for future cyber conflicts. Throughout this paper, I will be covering about Stuxnet's discovery and evolution, the operation of the Stuxnet worm, events leading up and causing the Stuxnet program being created, and my personal analysis of this event. There are many resources from experts analyzing the Stuxnet event and program at which we can look to as guidance and knowledge about the most important worm in malware history.
STUXNET's Discovery and Evolution
As the timeline for Stuxnet is still being researched, we understand that the main Stuxnet code was discovered around June 2010, by a security com...

... middle of paper ...

...Stuxnet was like a marksman type of program by attacking systems only containing that important file and leaves systems without those programmable logic controllers unharmed. This is completely different to our usual internet malware that attacks all computers it infects, but damage in cost is vastly lower. I personally identify Stuxnet as an the highest level of cyber attacks as this is most likely as nationally funded project with attributes of being an advanced persistent threat until the target is found and destroyed. After Stuxnet, we still should be prepared of variations and evolutions of malware because of Stuxnet's successor, Flame, which carried similar codes that were contained in Stuxnet. I think Stuxnet is the first incident of possible cyber warfare and we should be preparing for the future where more cyber attacks like this could realistically happen.

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