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Stuxnet serving as a template for hackers seeking to disrupt the U.S. smart grid

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Stuxnet worm that took out more than 20 percent of Iran's computer system that runs its nuclear program is serving as a template for crime groups across the globe, according to a published report.

CRN reports that organized crime groups with significant financial backing are using the Stuxnet as a basis for new and more destructive computer viruses that could be used against critical infrastructures in the U.S. and throughout the world. IRBS analyst James Turner told the news source that such cyber worms could be used to attack the smart grid.

"The entire malware-creating industry - script kiddies, organized crime, and nation-state cyber warfare groups - has been shown the blueprint for the internet equivalent of a bunker-buster," he wrote in a research note. "Stuxnet has fundamentally shifted the paradigm of what is achievable through malware. The implications for the future of malware are dramatic."

Many researchers have spent long hours tirelessly dissecting the computer worm's architecture, and that could have potentially far-reaching consequences. In the U.S., the Obama administration has set out to invest in and develop the smart grid, but many industry analysts assert that smart grid security protocols must be updated consistently to ensure the efficacy of the country's power supply network.

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