Iran likely to develop defenses to protect against Stuxnet-like systems – expert

Posted on March 24, 2012

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It is likely that Iran is developing defenses to protect against a cyberattack that utilizes similar methods of compromise, exploitation, and distribution as Stuxnet, founder of WAF Enterprises, former Director of Emerging Security Technologies at IBM mobile, Amrit Williams said.

The expert was commenting on recent news about Iran developing an anti-Stuxnet virus software, to protect itself from possible future cyber attacks from the outside.

The Islamic Republic has announced that the anti-virus software will be available to the wide public for free, in about a month. So far, Iran relies on anti-virus programmes developed by other countries.

Williams underscored that attackers will tend to use whatever method is most effective in achieving their goals.

When asked whether it is right to develop anti-Stuxnet right now, the expert noted that same methods are sometimes used for a cyber attack.

“We see exploit reuse in information security all the time, because most organizations are still very poor at eliminating basic vulnerabilities and exposures,” Williams said. “If Iranian specialists are smart, they will focus on eliminating all vulnerabilities and exposures that could lead to compromise of their industrial control systems (SCADA) or other critical infrastructure”.

Williams added that Iran should also work on improving its ability to identify and eliminate a potential compromise and to respond quickly to limit the impact once its compromised.

In 2010, Iran’s industrial and nuclear computer systems were attacked by the Stuxnet worm. The worm was a malware designed to infect computers using Siemens Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) – a control system favoured by industries that manage water supplies, oil rigs and power plants.

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