Stuxnet: The second-greatest story ever told (comes with video)

I know, I know — you already know the basics about Stuxnet. No matter. So do I, yet this is the most gripping news feature I’ve read this week, to the point where I started mentally storyboarding the inevitable Hollywood spy movie that’s going to be made about it before I was halfway through. Starring Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg as leaders of an elite team of pasty beta-male hackers, overseeing the cyberwarfare equivalent of the Manhattan Project. Title: “The Nerds Who Saved the World.”
Kidding aside, take five minutes to read it all. Nothing else that I’ve come across better explains how fantastically ingenious Stuxnet is as a precision weapon aimed at disabling Iran’s nuclear program. For instance, tech-dummy that I am, I thought the worm was originally introduced to Iran’s enrichment facility by smuggling it into the plant via a secret agent and injecting it into the system via a flash drive. Not so: Sounds like it was first injected into computers outside the plant that were being accessed by people who worked inside, e.g., some nuclear technician’s laptop or desktop. If the technician carelessly used his own flash drive on the outside computer, he’d inadvertently transfer Stuxnet to it and then carry it into the building with him, thus avoiding the need for someone to physically infiltrate Natanz. So not only did they devise a plan to virtually bomb the facility from the inside, they likely got one of Iran’s own people to unwittingly … >>>

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