In June, Russian software security firm Kaspersky Lab revealed that a powerful computer worm had been unleashed on computers in America and around the world roughly one year prior. The new malware, called "Duqu 2" for its apparent succession to 2011's Duqu worm, alarmed info-security professionals with both its unprecedented strength and audacious targets. For months, attackers deployed frighteningly sophisticated espionage technology to secretly spy on all sorts of parties involved (however tenuously) in the ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations, including government leaders, telecommunication and electrical-equipment companies, and impartial researchers.
Worms like Duqu are worlds away from the run-of-the-mill "script kiddie" hacks that take Xbox Live offline, explains Andrea Castillo. When executed, this elite class of malware allows external entities to expertly enter almost every cranny of even the best-protected networks. So why has the usually indefatigable "tough on cyberterror" crowd been so quiet?