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Napolitano on Stuxnet: Private Sector Needs Rapid Response

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Photo: dhs.gov

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a group of University of California, Berkeley engineering students the Stuxnet computer worm that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities highlighted the importance of a quick response from the private sector.

“The key thing we learned from Stuxnet was the need for rapid response across the private sector,” Napolitano said, according to Computerworld. “There, we need to increase the rapidity of response, because in that area — as in several other recent attacks — we’ve seen very, very sophisticated, very, very novel ways of attacking. When you’re getting at control systems, now you’re really talking [about] taking things over, so this is an area of deep concern for us.”

While ostensibly targeting Iran’s nascent nuclear program, Stuxnet was also specifically designed to zero in on a piece of code used to monitor industrial processes produced by international engineering firm Siemens.

But as Computerworld reports, both Siemens and DHS lagged behind outsiders, such as Symantec and Kaspersky Labs, in publicly explaining that the worm had specifically targeted Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

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