SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY

Iran Still Stuck With Stuxnet

Iran apparently has developed an antivirus program to neutralize the notorious Stuxnet virus that put a kink in the country’s nuclear development program in June 2010.

Iran has vowed to distribute the antivirus program for free in about a month, according to Trend, a publication that describes itself as a private media outlet in Azerbaijan.

The announcement may be intended to buck up the spirits of Iranians, according to Jeffrey Carr, CEO of Taia Global and author of Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld.

“They’d been struck with what is now one of the most famous viruses in the world, probably still have residual fallout from it, and may now have a way to demonstrate to the public that they aren’t victims,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Stuxnet Is Old Hat

The world has moved beyond Stuxnet, maintained Eric Byres, CTO and vice president for engineeringfor Tofino Security Products.

“Stuxnet is definitely a quaint artifact in most of the world, but it might still have some life inside Natanz,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Natanz is where Iran’s uranium enrichment facility is located.

An antivirus program that countered Stuxnet would be less interesting than one that could also neutralize Stuxnet’s successors, like Duqu.

“If the Iranian software can do that, I would love to see it,” Byres said. “But I would not hold my breath on that. This may strictly be a morale-building announcement inside Iran.”

Verizon, Symantec Breach Studies

2011 was a near-record year for cybersecurity breaches, but the cost of the breakins appears to be going down.

Those were two of the key findings in breach studies released last week by Verizon and Symantec.

More than 174.5 million records were compromised in 855 companies studied for Verizon’s 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report.

John Mello is a freelance technology writer and former special correspondent for Government Security News.

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