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Stuxnet: Computer Worm Opens New Era of Warfare CBS News (03/04/12) Steve Kroft

The Stuxnet computer worm demonstrates the ability of a cyberattack to inflict significant physical damage, and leading U.S. military, intelligence, and law enforcement officials warn that its emergence heralds a coming cyberattack on the U.S.'s critical infrastructure. "We have entered into a new phase of conflict in which we use a cyberweapon to create physical destruction, and in this case, physical destruction in someone else's critical infrastructure," says former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency director Gen. Michael Hayden. Symantec's Liam O'Murchu says it is probable that an intelligence agency was behind the Stuxnet operation. "You're really looking at a government agency from some country who is politically motivated and who has the insider information from a uranium enrichment facility that would facilitate building a threat like this," O'Murchu says. Israel and the U.S. are the most likely countries considered capable of launching such a cyberattack, and possessing the motivation to do so. Hayden notes that unlike a physical weapon, a cyberweapon does not destruct when used. "So there are those out there who can take a look at this, study it, and maybe even attempt to turn it to their own purposes," he says.


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