The Stuxnet virus was a sophisticated attack on the Siemens control systems used by Iran’s nuclear programme.  Its payload was code that damaged centrifuge arrays by speeding up their rotation rates.  

But a recent article (via Daring Fireball) emphasizes another impact of the virus:  It created costly suspicion and distrust.

One additional impact that can be attributed to the worm, according to David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Studies, is that “the lives of the scientists working in the facility have become a living hell because of counter-intelligence agents brought into the plant” to battle the breach. Ironically, even after its discovery, the worm has succeeded in slowing down Iran’s reputed effort to build an atomic weapon.

Trust is a human system as valuable (and vulnerable) as computer systems, as this story illustrates.

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