The worst desktop developments of 2010: Stuxnet surfaces


The worst of 2010: Stuxnet surfaces

Stuxnet surfaces
Image from Symantec (Click to enlarge)

Viruses and malware aren't new, but the Stuxnet Trojan horse was the first to target Siemens' large-scale industrial control systems. Built over several months by a sophisticated programming team that some speculate was sponsored by Israel, it contained four zero-day exploits that attacked installations such as Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor. Eventually, it infected more than 100,000 computers worldwide. Such state-centric attacks date back to a Russian pipeline-control system infected back in 1982, but the level of care in its creation and precision targeting of Stuxnet is chilling.

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David Strom is a freelance writer and professional speaker based in St. Louis. He is former editor in chief of, Network Computing magazine and Read more from Strom at

This was first published in December 2010

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