Sunday, January 16, 2011

What goes around, hopefully, doesn't come around.

Here is a fascinating NY Times account of Stuxnet, the computer worm that seems to have attacked and damaged some of Iran's nuclear enrichment equipment. It's got me pondering broader implications.

I knew, for example, that many US commercial, government, and military computers have been broken into by various foreign & domestic hackers. And that the US electric grid is considered vulnerable. But I hadn't really thought about how many other control facilities, say manufacturing or phone communications or air traffic control are also based on computers. And that attacks can be designed to cause lasting damage to the equipment they control - fabricators, generators, transformers, planes, etc. I hadn't really worried about cyberwar before. Now it seems a little more real.