Short of the Week

Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus

Warfare is entering a digital generation. In this infographics piece from down under we learn about one of the scariest new viruses out there.

Stumbled across this today in my Vimeo inbox. A very cool motion graphics piece that is “An infographic dissecting the nature and ramifications of Stuxnet, the first weapon made entirely out of code.” Our Facebook fans seemed to respond well to it, so I thought I’d put it up as a Short of the Moment.

It’s a good-looking piece, though as an info-graphic I think it suffers from trying to depict a rather abstract concept. However that concept is truly and deeply fascinating…but also rather disturbing =(.  might have been better off in my ignorance…oh well, a great way to spend 3 minutes.

Produced for Australian TV program HungryBeast on Australia’s ABC1 by  the outfit Zapruder’s Other Films.

Co-Founder of Short of the Week, Sondhi lives in Brooklyn working as a Curator for Vimeo. Follow his musings on online video, direct distribution and branded content: @jasondhi.
  • Theo


    This (stuxnet)is a bit too much hyped and how difficult to counter it. The author should have reasearched a bit more.. or did but then the story is a non-story?

    IE: It was Seimen the Mfg of these controller boards/software made it PUBLIC that there area few holes in the software and hardware and open to hacking. (came to the US and asking for help) It’s not like people who bought these boards didn’t know it and where it’s open to mess with the system. The Mfg asked the hacking community to see how secure were these and it turned out it was not. The subsequent controller boards were corrected and most ‘holes’ are plugged.

    A Russian tech person unknowlingly brought this on Iran with his USB memory he plugged in. Nothing is confirmed, but it’s possible, since this facility is ISOLATED from the world (internet) and no chance of hacking into the system.

    Who use these boards?
    Israel, Pakistan, N.Korea and some other countries like Iran. You have to remember these are OLD designs and boards. It’s not easy to get them now to replace the one damaged. So, Iran has a bit of a setback to try to get some more on the black market. No doubt the Israelis were active players since the US didn’t want them to stop the nuclear program. (Stupid US policy)

    The short is an OK story, but not quite there with the conclusion as what can and will happen? Nothing will happen, unlike their suggestion of all kinds industrial shut-downs. It’s a lot easier to shut down an electrical grid with $50 worth of stuff then this complex software, which can not effect it because it’s not used such way.

    One thing is for sure, Hackers are valuable assets to any country and instead of locking them up, give them support and help them to become better of defending an attack of their country. Iran has the right idea of recruting hackers, the Chinese are already has a powerful hacker based army.

    About us:
    We are in a process to develop a feature based on this ‘incident’ and lot of time spent on research as what’s the ‘real’ story and not the news-fluff what they tell the public. This is a lot more complex story.

  • Andrew S Allen

    @Theo, Thanks for the extra info. There is a fair bit of leading hypothesizing in the film—a little more than I care to swallow. In covert situations like this, it’s almost impossible to verify facts, and there are always multiple sides to the story. The story becomes a blank slate on which anyone can write their agenda upon—arab nations blame Israel, Iran blames the USA. I’m curious now as to the ‘real’ story behind the virus as you refer to. Keep us updated on your feature.

  • Felonious Punk

    1. “arab nations blame Israel, Iran blames the USA.” True. And to that I’d like to add, USA blames everyone and never takes responsibility. I’m American, and proudly so, I just think we have some room to grow in our role as one of the leading nations of the world.

    2. As for the short, I felt like it just plopped a big sloppy mess in my lap, and then dashed off. Could have been a little slower paced and had some kind of resolution at the end.

    3. “Our Facebook fans seemed to respond well to it” Wait! What? You all show more movies on Facebook, and before they make it here? That’s good to know.

  • Jason Sondhi

    @Felonious Punk: No doubt, we do a lot quickie film picks on Facebook that never make the site. And there are some films posted on Twitter that don’t even make it to Facebook! Gotta keep y’all on your toes.

  • Fessols&naps

    one thing is clear, the war is already in the internet.
    Thanks for the sceptic extra info. We wouldn’t believe everything we hear, even it would be a great story, @Theo.

  • Fessols&naps

    Reposted. Would you like to check it?:

    Thanks for sharing.