DHS Official Calls Stuxnet Virus a 'Game Changer'

Thursday Nov 18th 2010 by Datamation.com Staff

The head of the Cybersecurity Center tells the Senate that the malware represents a threat to the systems that run U.S. infrastructure.

CNN: On Wednesday, Sean McGurk, head of the Cybersecurity Center at the Department of Homeland Security, testified before the Senate on the threat posed by the Stuxnet virus. He called the malware a "game changer," explaining, "This code can automatically enter a system, steal the formula for the product you are manufacturing, alter the ingredients being mixed in your product, and indicate to the operator and your anti-virus software that everything is functioning as expected."

McGurk said the agency did not know who created Stuxnet or its intended target, but security firm Symantec has published a study which says the virus was likely aimed at Iran's nuclear power plants. The virus infected 44,000 systems worldwide, including 1,600 in the U.S. Sixty percent of the infections were in Iran.

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