Information Security Leader, Author, Instructor and Speaker

Malware Jumps the Air Gap

Posted on August 17, 2015 in Articles | by

During the summer and fall of 2010, a quiet cyberwar erupted between Iran on one side and the United States and Israel on the other.  The weapon, a computer virus known as Stuxnet, allegedly breached the networks of a sensitive nuclear fuel enrichment facility in Iran and caused an incredible amount of physical damage to the equipment contained within the plant.  Reports are that the malware attack dealt a significant blow to the Iranian nuclear program and, although they never officially took responsibility, the attacking nations coyly suggested their involvement in the attack.

The Stuxnet incident fascinated technologists around the world for a number of reasons.  In addition to being one of the first large-scale cyberwarfare attacks in history, Stuxnet also made several technical advances over existing malware.  The virus creators carefully crafted Stuxnet to target the enrichment equipment at a facility in Natanz, Iran and designed it to covertly infiltrate the Natanz network, defeating existing security controls.  This included beating air gap protection, a control typically found in sensitive industrial facilities.

Read the full story: Malware Jumps the Air Gap

Published August 17, 2015 on


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Mike Chapple, CISSP, Ph.D.

Mike is an IT leader, information security professional, author, speaker and trainer with over fifteen years of experience in the field.

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