The US government has issued a warning saying that there is a high probability of modified versions of the Stuxnet virus being used to target power, water and other vital services in the West.
The Stuxnet virus was believed to have been created originally by Israeli agents to disrupt the Iranian nuclear programme, as it was apparently seen as a direct threat to the very existence of the Israel.
It was first detected in July 2011, and after some extensive analysis carried out by security experts, it was found that Stuxnet was well capable of exploiting at least four vulnerabilities present in Microsoft Windows in order to take over industrial control systems.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Stuxnet virus, also known as “the world’s first cyberweapon”, is dangerously close to becoming obtainable by cyber criminals, which, should they get their hands on it, could be modified and then used for attacking new targets.
“The Department is concerned that attackers could use the increasingly public information about the code to develop variants targeted at broader installations of programmable equipment in control systems,” it explained to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Telegraph reports.