Stuxnet had ‘badly infected’ the internal network of a Russian nuclear plant after the sophisticated malware caused chaos in Iran’s uranium facilities in Natanz.
The malware, widely considered to have been developed by the US and Israel as a means to disrupt Iran’s uranium enrichment plans, had crossed a physically separated ‘air-gapped’ network in the Russian plant after it was carried across on a USB device.
Eugene Kaspersky, the charismatic boss of the Russian antivirus company bearing his name, said a staffer at the unnamed nuclear plant informed him of the infection.
“[The staffer said] their nuclear plant network which was disconnected from the internet … was badly infected by Stuxnet,” Kaspersky said.
But USB devices were used to ferry malware cross a far greater air-gap: Russian astronauts had carried a virus on removable media to the International Space Station infecting machines there, Kaspersky said.
In a presentation given at the Canberra Press Club designed to give mainstream journalists a broad overview of the state of information security, the chief executive offered his view of the state of online crime and state-sponsored espionage.