Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doomsday watch: The Stuxnet computer virus

Every New Year I make this silly resolution to be more positive and upbeat kind of guy. But that gets tiresome after a while, so I've decided to embrace my true nature as an observer of impending doom.

We've all gotten the email messages about greeting card viruses which will "destroy your hard drive". These viruses are annoying but they are unlikely to kill you.

The Stuxnet computer virus is the first worm virus that was designed to reprogram industrial systems. The Wikipedia entry speculates that is was used to attack Iran's nuclear program (another Doomsday choice for me) but naturally like all viruses, I have a strong feeling that this will be used for other mischief.

I'll leave it to the readers to imagine their own doomsday scenario but I think chemical plants, nuclear reactors, refineries and the electrical grid might be good targets. I hope someone is looking into this.

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