Russian nuclear power plant “badly infected” by Stuxnet

Information security mogul Eugene Kaspersky has claimed that the infamous Stuxnet malware infected a Russian nuclear power plant.

Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, revealed that a friend of his working in an unnamed power plant told him that Stuxnet had "badly infected" the internal network, at some point during the "Stuxnet time".

The revelations were made in front of an audience at Australia's National Press Club last week, following a speech in which he talked about the consequences of "releasing malware into the wild".

"A friend of mine sent me a message that their nuclear plant network – which is disconnected from the Internet – is badly infected with Stuxnet," Kaspersky said. "So unfortunately these people who are responsible for offensive technologies recognise cyber weapons as opportunity."

It was revealed in July 2012 that Stuxnet was most likely crafted by the US and Israel in order to thwart the development of Iran's nuclear programme. However, the virus was not adequately contained and spread to PCs worldwide.

"Unfortunately, it's very possible that other nations which are not in a conflict will be victims of cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure," Kaspersky said. "It's cyber space. [There are] no borders, [and many facilities share the] same systems."

Kaspersky also hinted that the malware had made its way aboard the International Space Station after USBs infected with the malware arrived onboard with "Russian space guys."

Stuxnet was first uncovered in July 2010 but earlier this year researchers at Symantec discovered a version of the virus that first went live in 2005. This supports earlier claims that the programme was started under President George W. Bush and continued under Barack Obama.

Last week Kaspersky released a new version of its security solution targeted at small businesses, which aims to keep them up to date with the latest security threats.