The Definitive Story About the Most Sophisticated Cyberattack in History

The story of Stuxnet, a piece of malware that almost certainly targeted an Iranian nuclear facility, is complex and dense. Most of the interesting stuff is buried in the half megabyte of code that the worm is made of, and telling a good story about the details is nearly as difficult as figuring them out in the first place.

That's why a new story on Wired's Threat Level by Kim Zetter is such a triumph. She got access to the security researchers who deciphered the worm and figured out how to tell the most technically informed story about Stuxnet I've ever read. While it may not contain any bombshell revelations about the worm, it will still stand as the definitive story about how the worm works and how we figured that out.

The other longform piece about Stuxnet, Michael Gross' Vanity Fair piece, a wonderfully devastating conclusion about what Stuxnet means. Zetter doesn't go into that explicitly, but by virtue of her blow-by-blow reporting about the shambling collaborative brilliance it took to reach real conclusions about the worm's behavior, we can draw a few of our own:

1. Unless the Pentagon and NSA have access to security researchers far superior to the known experts, this country is not ready for a war that uses software to cripple real-world infrastructure.
2. We probably won't know that who or what we're fighting until it's already on.
3. We probably won't know we've been attacked until after its already happened, perhaps months or even years later.

If you are interested in the future of cyberweapons, you owe it to yourself to read Zetter's piece. Even if you already know the basic features of the story, her writing and reporting will sharpen it in your mind.

Presented by

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Playing An Actual Keyboard Cat

A music video transforms food, pets, and objects into extraordinary instruments.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

Video

The Man Who Built a Forest Larger Than Central Park

Since 1979, he has planted more than 1,300 acres of trees.

More in Technology

Just In