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The Triumph of Hacker Culture


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

It's the best of times and the worst of times for hacker culture. On the one hand, this is a moment of history-making triumph for a cyber-worm, the complex computer virus known and feared as "Stuxnet."

A stunning evolutionary leap in development of "malware" (the generic term for the mischief-making software a virus embeds in computers via digital networks). Composed, it has been reported, of 15,000 lines of code.

Stuxnet exhibited virtual superpowers last fall by penetrating, taking control of, and jamming into self-destruction some 1,000 precisely calibrated uranium-refining centrifuges in Iran's Natanz nuclear facility.

From Slate
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