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The Real Story of Stuxnet

How Kaspersky Lab tracked down the malware that stymied Iran’s nuclear-fuel enrichment program

10 min read
Illustration: Brian Stauffer
Illustration: Brian Stauffer
Red

Computer cables snake across the floor. Cryptic flowcharts are scrawled across various whiteboards adorning the walls. A life-size Batman doll stands in the hall. This office might seem no different than any other geeky workplace, but in fact it's the front line of a war—a cyberwar, where most battles play out not in remote jungles or deserts but in suburban office parks like this one. As a senior researcher for Kaspersky Lab, a leading computer security firm based in Moscow, Roel Schouwenberg spends his days (and many nights) here at the lab's U.S. headquarters in Woburn, Mass., battling the most insidious digital weapons ever, capable of crippling water supplies, power plants, banks, and the very infrastructure that once seemed invulnerable to attack.

Recognition of such threats exploded in June 2010 with the discovery of Stuxnet, a 500-kilobyte computer worm that infected the software of at least 14 industrial sites in Iran, including a uranium-enrichment plant. Although a computer virus relies on an unwitting victim to install it, a worm spreads on its own, often over a computer network.

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Jay Last, a Father of Silicon Valley, Dies at 92

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4 min read
A smiling older man in glasses

Jay Last

Max S. Gerber/Redux

Jay Last

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3 min read
A photo of a man in a suit with his hand on a toy in a maze.
KEYSTONE/GETTY IMAGES

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3 min read

This is a sponsored article brought to you by National Instruments (NI).

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