Superbug attacking Chinese computers traced to US

Superbug, which has attacked over six million computers in China has been traced to the US.

Updated: Oct 01, 2010, 21:52 PM IST

Beijing: The much-feared new cyber-weapon, the `Superbug`, which has attacked over six million personal and almost 1,000 corporate computers in China has been traced
to the US, official media reported on Friday.

The Stuxnet cyberworm can break into computers and steal private information, especially from industrial firms, sending it back to a server in the United States, state-run
Xinhua news agency quoted Wang Zhantao, an engineer at the Beijing-based Rising International Software Co Ltd, an antivirus service producer in China, as saying.

The super virus made use of a bug in Siemens auto-control systems used in industrial manufacturing to skip the security check, Wang who has been vastly quoted in the
local media for the past few days, said.

The virus can copy itself and spread via U-disk in the network of a company and government.

"Hackers may take control of a company`s machinery run under computers infected by Stuxnet, and give dangerous orders causing serious damage," he said.

The company has developed softwares to kill the virus, which can be downloaded for free from the company`s official website, he said.

Official media has been carrying reports about the superbug virus for the past few days said it contained sophisticated malicious software, or malware, believed to be a
"new cyber-weapon," which infiltrates mainly factory computers in China threatening the country`s national security.

The Stuxnet worm was first discovered in mid-June and was specially written to attack Siemens supervisory control and data (SCADA) systems commonly used to control and monitor industrial facilities - from traffic lights and oil rigs to power and nuclear plants, state run Global Times daily reported few days ago.

"This malware is specially designed to sabotage plants and damage industrial systems, instead of stealing personal data. It will seriously threaten pillar industries in China,
which has 420 million internet users," Wang said.

"Once Stuxnet successfully penetrates factory computers in China, those industries may collapse, which would damage national security," he said adding that it posed no
harm to personal computers or Internet surfers.

PTI