Security experts have warned the US government and businesses about the threat poised by future Stuxnet-like cyber attacks on critical industrial infrastructure.
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Centre at the Department of Homeland Security has told US lawmakers that the Stuxnet virus will reshape the landscape of cyber security measures deployed on government and organisational networks.
Sean McGurk, the acting director of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Centre, told the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the Stuxnet virus was designed by a well financed team of hackers for use in disrupting industrial control systems and stealing sensitive data.
“We have not seen this coordinated effort of information technology vulnerabilities and industrial control exploitation completely wrapped up in one unique package,” he said.
Michael Assante, president and CEO of the National Board of Information Security Examiners said: "Stuxnet is, at the very least, an important wake-up call for digitally enhanced and reliant countries, and at its worst, a blueprint for future attackers."
The Stuxnet virus was discovered in July following an attack on Iran's nuclear industry.