New Stuxnet Details Point Specifically to Nuclear Targets

     

The latest news surrounding the Stuxnet worm -- the sophisticated, targeted malware described as "weaponized software" -- provides additional insight into its targets and its purpose.

As reported on the The Register, new research shows that Stuxnet is looking for very specific devices residing within SCADA systems, devices most commonly associated with nuclear plants. According to The Register,

Stuxnet searches for frequency converter drives made by Fararo Paya of Iran and Vacon of Finland...[and] is only interested in frequency converter drives that operate at very high speeds, between 807 Hz and 1210 Hz.

The malware is designed to change the output frequencies of drives, and therefore the speed of associated motors.... This would effectively sabotage the operation of infected devices while creating intermittent problems that are that much harder to diagnose.

Because they are used in the process of uranium enrichment, frequency converter drives operating at the frequencies spec'd by Stuxnet are regulated by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

More on Stuxnet is available here and here.