Computer Malware Programs Stuxnet and Conficker Interlinked, Says Expert

John Bumgarner an expert about cyber-warfare asserts that the Stuxnet PC-virus, which destructed the nuclear program of Iran during 2010, is connected with the mysterious PC-worm Conficker, which emerged during late-2008 while contaminating a few million PCs, published Reuters.com dated December 2, 2011.

Bumgarner through his research claims that while the Conficker was used on the Iranian PCs for creating backdoors, the Stuxnet was used for contaminating those PCs.

According to him, the Conficker sort of created a large smoke screen for encompassing the entire globe for disguising the actual criminal task viz., serving the Stuxnet.

And whilst the common belief is that Israel and USA were responsible for the Stuxnet, Bumgarner desists from giving his opinion regarding whether the Conficker operations were also their handiwork. The Conficker is thus far the greatest of all malicious programs detected. Furthermore Bumgarner, perceiving the sensitivity of the problem, wouldn't as well name the cyber-miscreants he knows controlled the two malware.

He, currently with the non-profit think-tank, U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit (offering cyber-security consultations to government agencies) as Chief Technology Officer says, both Stuxnet and Conficker are greatly similar and so much so that these similarities can hardly be coincidental, published securitynewsdaily.com dated December 2, 2011.

Both are extremely advanced, proliferate through USB sticks as well as quickly mutate. Moreover, the two codes' development dates overlap as also of Duqu, one lately detected PC Trojan, which according to many security researchers, is the creation of the Stuxnet authors.

But Director of security research Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro the security company tweeted that Bumgarner's description of the two malware items appeared too weak. Conficker that first proliferated worldwide then after years introduced Stuxnet and that too solely into Iranian computers, then the wait for somebody plugging a USB inside the PCs, and even more, happening to carry one to the plant, he wrote. Information-age.com reported this dated December 2, 2011.

Ferguson added that the Conficker worm was devoid of any "programmable logic controller" (PLC)-associated malware and in reality was utilized for serving fake anti-virus; therefore, he simply couldn't accept what the expert theorized.

Related article: Computer Virus Writers Adopt New Strategy

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