Security Advisor

Stuxnet Powers Down

There's still a ton we don't know about the Stuxnet worm. And with the information that the U.S. and Israeli governments may have a hand in it, there's a lot that we will probably never know about.

What we do know is that as of Sunday, the worm has halted its spread and has turned itself off. This "kill switch" feature was programmed into the malware code, and once the calendar switched to June 24, Stuxnet went to sleep.

While this marks the end of the worm, it doesn't mean that the code can't be manipulated to come back alive. However, according to security experts, doing so would be difficult.

According to Liam O Murchu, manager of operations for Symantec Security Response, the idea of malware being built with the capability to call it quits is somewhat unique and seen only when malware is still in its testing stages.

It makes sense to me that if this is a weapon forged by these governments, they would want a fail-safe built in. It's one thing to have your name on sophisticated malware. It's another thing for others to start wielding said malware that you helped create.

And since these governments let Stuxnet pass into the ether, I'm guessing its mission was complete. Stay tuned to not find out any more information about the worm's mission.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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