Ralph Langner, the researcher who identified that Stuxnet infected PLCs, first speculated publicly in September 2010 that the malware was of Israeli origin, and that it targeted Iranian nuclear facilities. However Langner, more recently, stated that, while the Mossad is involved, the leading force behind Stuxnet is not Israel but the one and only cyber superpower, the United States of America.
Cyber attacks are now targeting high-value infrastructures not only in Iran but all over the world. According to Langner, this trend won’t fade or go away and most major installations and critical infrastructure in the world are not really prepared for this. So when they will be attacked, it will probably take a year until they notice what is going on, which is exactly what we have seen in the case of Stuxnet. According to Langner, we presently don’t have Intrusion Detection System tools and technology that could prevent it. From a technology point of view, you certainly can design a product that would be capable of doing this. But so far, we haven’t seen it.
If most nations and institutions are so unprepared, how come don’t we see more of these intrusive cyber attacks? The answer is quite simple: So far, we haven’t seen any really solid contingency plans for cyber attacks but this is coming sooner than you think. People are fed up with what is going on around the world and there are more and more well educated and knowledgeable people out there and this might get very nasty faster than you think groups like Anonymous could decide [and I hope they will,] to target all major institutions and bring down any superpower on its knees.
Science and knowledge are no longer the appanage of the rich and powerful.