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This attack, from an unknown source but likely related to Stuxnet, disabled one of the lists and thereby interrupted an important source of information for power plants and factories.
On the other hand, researchers at Symantec have uncovered a version of the Stuxnet computer virus that was used to attack Iran's nuclear program in November 2007, being developed as early as 2005, when Iran was still setting up its uranium enrichment facility.
In 2015, Kaspersky Labs noted that the Equation Group had used two of the same zero-day attacks, prior to their use in Stuxnet, and commented that: "the similar type of usage of both exploits together in different computer worms, at around the same time, indicates that the Equation Group and the Stuxnet developers are either the same or working closely together".
Stuxnet, discovered by Sergey Ulasen, initially spread via Microsoft Windows, and targeted Siemens industrial control systems.
Exploiting four zero-day flaws, Stuxnet functions by targeting machines using the Microsoft Windows operating system and networks, then seeking out Siemens Step7 software.
Kaspersky noted, however, that since the powerplant is not connected to the public Internet, the system should remain safe.For its targets, Stuxnet contains, among other things, code for a man-in-the-middle attack that fakes industrial process control sensor signals so an infected system does not shut down due to detected abnormal behavior.The number of zero-day exploits used is unusual, as they are highly valued and malware creators do not typically make use of (and thus simultaneously make visible) four different zero-day exploits in the same worm.The reason for the discovery at this time is attributed to the virus accidentally spreading beyond its intended target (the Natanz plant) due to a programming error introduced in an update; this led to the worm spreading to an engineer's computer that had been connected to the centrifuges, and spreading further when the engineer returned home and connected his computer to the internet.On 15 July 2010, the day the worm's existence became widely known, a distributed denial-of-service attack was made on the servers for two leading mailing lists on industrial-systems security.
Stuxnet requires specific slave variable-frequency drives (frequency converter drives) to be attached to the targeted Siemens S7-300 system and its associated modules.