Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus

May 10, 2016

An infographic dissecting the nature and ramifications of Stuxnet, the first weapon made entirely out of code. This was produced for Australian TV program HungryBeast on Australia's ABC1 Direction and Motion Graphics: Patrick Clair Written by: Scott Mitchell Production Company: Zapruder's Other Films.

At just over 1.5 MB in size, Stuxnet is smaller than an MP3 of a single song. Packed into this small amount of data is a complex and sophisticated code capable of infecting hundreds of thousands of computers and even causing physical harm to industrial facilities. Stuxnet is believed to be the cause of the shutdown of nearly a thousand centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran. 

Many suspected either the U.S. or Israel, or some collaboration of the two, to be behind the attack, but nothing other than rumor could support the theories. In June 2012, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, published an article in which described a number of significant revelations regarding America's role in using cyber warfare against Iran. In particular, he write that Stuxnet was part of a joint program of Israel and the United States, coded name Olympic Games, which aimed to prevent -- or at least delay -- Iran from developing the ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade.