Anonymous hackers release ‘decrypted version of Stuxnet worm’ online: Security experts

February 16th, 2011 - 3:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 16 (ANI): US security experts have claimed that the computer hackers’ collective Anonymous has released a decrypted version of the Stuxnet worm that had affected Iran’s nuclear power program in December last year, online.

The ones and zeroes that make up the code called the Stuxnet worm, described as the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever created, were reportedly found when Anonymous volunteers hacked the servers of HB Gary Federal, a U.S. security company that sells investigative services to companies.

The attack was being carried out as revenge for claims by the company’s chief executive Aaron Barr that he had successfully infiltrated the cyber protest network and discovered details of its leadership and structure.

Fox News quoted security experts as saying that the leaked code was a serious cause for concern.

Insisting that the group of anonymous “hacktivists” released a decrypted version the Stuxnet worm, which could act almost like a building block for cybercrooks, Michael Gregg, chief operating officer of cybersecurity firm Superior Solutions, said: “There is the real potential that others will build on what is being released.”

“As an attacker you need to understand how something works. The better you understand how it works the easier it is to build something similar that servers the same purpose. The decompiled code the group made available is in that sense akin to a recipe book for disaster,” he said.

“With the right tools — and these guys have shown themselves more than once to be a fairly technical bunch of individuals — then it gives others a cookbook to start modifying,” Gregg added.

Careful examination of the Stuxnet worm by security analysts have shown it to be a cybermissile designed to penetrate advanced security systems. It was equipped with a warhead that targeted and took over the controls of the centrifuge systems at Iran’s uranium processing center in Natanz, and it had a second warhead that targeted the massive turbine at the nuclear reactor in Bashehr, the report said.

Dave Aitel, CEO of Immunity Inc., however, drew a fine line to distinguish between the version of the worm that destroyed Iran’s nuclear plant and the code released by Anonymous.

“What they’ve released is essentially incomprehensible,” Aitel said, adding that what the group found was far removed from the raw worm that has been “travelling around Iran destroying nuclear things.” (ANI)

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