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The Value of Software Testing: Stuxnet Worm Cripples Iran's Nuclear Program

By robo_dev ·
A recent New York Times article discussed the work that went into creating the most powerful and successful Cyberweapon ever created, the Stuxnet worm.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/world/middleeast/16stuxnet.html

What was the critical success factor for this effort?

Software QA Testing.

The main reason that this application worked was that the development team (allegedly) built a mockup of an Iranian uranium enrichment lab and did a detailed and (we can assume) well documented and thorough testing effort.

Consider that this software, which was allegedly introduced into the Iranian labs from a USB flash drive, did as much damage as a sustained military attack.

So, in this case, a $4 USB drive had the same effect as a multi-billion dollar military strike. Obviously a military strike on Iran would create enormous collateral damage, and a regional war in the Mideast would not be a good thing.

Those who discount the importance of software QA should consider that this simple malware attack worked as intended as a direct result of good testing.

Stuxnet should also be a wakeup call for those involved with the security of computer-based control systems, as it shows how much damage a simple computer program can do, if introduced to the right systems at the right time.

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