"The Worm Turns" As Chevron 'Infected' By Stuxnet Collateral Damage

Tyler Durden's picture

"I don't think the US government even realized how far it had spread" is how the collateral damage from the Iran-attacking Stuxnet computer virus is described by Chevron. The sleep San-Ramon-based oil giant admitted this week that from 2010 on "we're finding it in our systems and so are other companies... so now we have to deal with it." It would seem that little consideration for just how viral this cyber warfare tactic has become and this news (reported by Russia Today) is the first time a US company has come clean about the accidental infection. Discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet worm was reported with all but certainty to be the creation of the United States, perhaps with the assistance of Israel, to set back Iran’s nuclear enrichment program as a preemptive measure against an eventual war. In a June 2012 article published by The New York Times, government agents with direct knowledge of Stuxnet claimed that first President George W. Bush, then Barack Obama, oversaw the deployment of the worm as part of a well-crafted cyberassault on Iran. On the record, the federal government maintains ignorance on the subject of Stuxnet, but perhaps Chevron sums up the impact of Stuxnet best (given the escalating Iranian enrichment program): "I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished."


Via Russia Today:

America’s cyberwar is already seeing collateral damage, and it’s hitting the country’s own billion-dollar companies. Oil giants Chevron say the Stuxnet computer virus made by the US to target Iran infected their systems as well.


California-based Chevron, a Fortune 500 company that’s among the biggest corporations in the world, admits this week that they discovered the Stuxnet worm on their systems back in 2010. Up until now, Chevron managed to make their finding a well-kept secret, and their disclosure published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday marks the first time a US company has come clean about being infected by the virus intended for Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. Mark Koelmel of the company’s earth sciences department says that they are likely to not be the last, though.


“We’re finding it in our systems and so are other companies,” says Koelmel. “So now we have to deal with this.”


Koelmel claims that the virus did not have any adverse effects on his company, which generated a quarter of a trillion dollars in revenue during 2011. As soon as Chevron identified the infection, it was taken care of immediately, he says. Other accidental targets might not be so lucky though, and the computer worm’s complex coding means it might be a while before anyone else becomes aware of the damage.


“I don’t think the US government even realized how far it had spread,” Koelmel adds.


Discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet worm was reported with all but certainty to be the creation of the United States, perhaps with the assistance of Israel, to set back Iran’s nuclear enrichment program as a preemptive measure against an eventual war. Only as recently as this June, however, American officials with direct knowledge of the worm went public with Uncle Sam’s involvement.


In a June 2012 article published by The New York Times, government agents with direct knowledge of Stuxnet claimed that first President George W. Bush, then Barack Obama, oversaw the deployment of the worm as part of a well-crafted cyberassault on Iran. Coupled with another malicious program named Flame and perhaps many more, Stuxnet was waged against Iran as part of an initiative given the codename “Olympic Games.” Rather than solely stealing intelligence through use of computer coding, the endeavor was believed to be the first cyberattack that intended to cause actual hard damage.


“Previous cyberattacks had effects limited to other computers,” Michael Hayden, the former chief of the CIA, explained to the Times earlier this year. “This is the first attack of a major nature in which a cyberattack was used to effect physical destruction.”


On the record, the federal government maintains ignorance on the subject of Stuxnet. With American companies perhaps soon coming out of the woodwork to discuss how they were hit, though, the White House may have to finally admit that they’ve had direct involvement.


After the Times published their expose in June, Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of Intelligence Committee, called for an investigation to track down how the media was first made aware of America’s involvement in Olympic Games.


"I am deeply disturbed by the continuing leaks of classified information to the media, most recently regarding alleged cyber efforts targeting Iran's nuclear program,” Feinstein said through a statement at the time. “I made it clear that disclosures of this type endanger American lives and undermine America's national security."


When Feinstein spoke to DC’s The Hill newspaper, she said, "the leak about the attack on Iran's nuclear program could 'to some extent' provide justification for copycat attacks against the United States." According to the chairwoman, "This is like an avalanche. It is very detrimental and, candidly, I found it very concerning. There's no question that this kind of thing hurts our country."


Just last month, a shadowy Iranian-based hacking group called The Qassam Cyber Fighters took credit for launching a cyberattack on the servers of Capital One Financial Corp. and BB&T Corp., two of the biggest names in the American banking industry. Days earlier, Google informed some of its American users that they may be targeted in a state-sponsored cyberattack from abroad, and computer experts insist that these assaults will only intensify over time.


“We absolutely have seen more activity from the Middle East, and in particular Iran has been increasingly active as they build up their cyber capabilities,” CrowdStrike Security President George Kurtz told the Times.


Speaking of the accidental impact Stuxnet could soon have in the US, Chevron’s Koelmel tells the Journal, "I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished.”

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Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Imagine when the algos on the NYSE come down with a bad case of Stuxnet.

JustObserving's picture

They are destructive enough of American prosperity without the virus.

Papasmurf's picture

They are a virus unto their own right.

DeadFred's picture

How could they ever be infected? Oh, Porn site > SEC > HFT computers. Doomed.

live free's picture

I could care less about that... I would just sit back and watch those fireworks and laugh....

What I WOULD be concerned about it if it hit the grid.  Moving up on my prepardness efforts quickly....


Just started watching that show Revolution.... It's been rumored that the elite give signals to the sheeple what will happen in the future... I think we are seeing that on TV quite a bit these days.



Zero Govt's picture

No fireworks, "Koelmel claims that the virus did not have any adverse effects on his company.."

one bloated dinosaur oil giant gets "no problems" on their network but the MSM runs the whine

2 billion people suffer daily with the real problems Microshits bug-ridden, virus-magnetised sub-standard junk software around the world and not a squeek

todays journalists obviously don't live in the real world who've been suffering this scandelous monopolist garbage for over 20 years in a mass-media blackout of real world issues

if you're suffering from a story shortage MSM it's because you spend most of your time silencing the truth and scraping the bottom of the barrel for inane dribble like this 

cry me a river Chevron/MSM

PLira's picture

There are no journalists anymore. Only propagandists.Diogenes would be hard pressed to find either the honest man or a journalist not spinning the official position.

Please use the right terminology in the future.

That is all.

Dr. Sandi's picture

It's damned lucky that Chevron hasn't had any problems caused by the Stuxnet virus that infected them in 2010. The fact that they seem so certain makes me pretty sure they discovered the virus after they had some problems with the Stuxnet virus.

This means there's no chance that the fire at their Richmond CA refinery last year was Stuxnet related. Or the much bigger fire this year either.

I just wish these corporate shills would sound a little less certain that NOTHING HAPPENED.

It would make me a lot less suspicious if they'd simply say, we found we had it, and we think we fixed it. Because, in reality, there's no way to ever know for sure that it's gone. It could still be hiding in a DVD on the dedicated porno computer in the janitorial offices.


CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Ever watch Fringe? The plot is all new this season. The Observers who were peripheral characters in past episodes have now colonized Earth and the Fringe team along with a rag-tag resistance force is plotting their overthrown.

The Fringe opening sequence has always used an X Files motif in which various words appear on the screen but this season the words center around "Freedom," "Private Thought" and "Ownership." Great show, great season, great cliffhanger last night.


Here's that opening sequence:


live free's picture

I have.. .not for awhile though... I get the same feeling when I watch that show too.  Just like its showing us the control state that they want and the constant war, fear, and paranoia.  As well as the whole observer and "old people" meme has been circled around for a long time in history.


I get quite a kick out of watching shows (we don't have cable just the online stuff) and looking at them witha different perspective of "what are they trying to show us"... even kids shows... you'd be amazed.


CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I see it more as art imitating life. "They" may be playing with us, but "they" are the same ones who canceled Jericho which was very popular with a certain crowd. Apparently it hit too close to home.


No cable here either. Just rabbit ears.



Sokhmate's picture

I disagree. it is life imitating art; antimimesis. it is also "tv programming" think about the term.

no cable. no dish. no rabbit ears. no actual tv 'device'

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Life can imitate art on occasion but most often it is art that imitates life. Life is organic and real. It has substance. Art is merely a reflection of life, a ghost.

A Lunatic's picture

No doubt the grid will be affected by something the sheeple believe to be a cyber virus from whichever nation of brown people we want to imprison next. Why we keep playing into their hands I have not a fucking clue.

Whoa Dammit's picture

OT: Hurricane Sandy victims may be housed at former prison. This is how it begins...

"They want them to go from no house to the Big House."



Matt's picture

evidence that there is no plan at all. You don't need to fear FEMA; they can't even use existing infrastructure for people after a disaster until weeks later. This indicates that mass camps to intern millions of people almost certainly do not exist, and even if they did, the government lacks the competency to operate them. 

Whoa Dammit's picture

Be sure to remind me of that when I see you at the plebe roundup.

seek's picture

Wrong on the first part -- they exist -- but right on the second part, I don't think they have the competency to run them. The problem is, they think they do, which means they operate accordingly.They may very well start a fight they can't finish using their original plan, which means they switch to winging it, and that's when you'll get crazy shit like them handing TSA agents M4s with no training due to the self-inflicted "crisis."

Underground bunkers in the middle of nowhere look better all the time.


Dr. Sandi's picture

The TSA will gather into a big circle around their targets and start shooting.

Tango in the Blight's picture

Warn me when they start locking up opponents in a sports stadium like in Chile.

Dr. Sandi's picture

That's just a Seahawks game. There are no winners.

Tango in the Blight's picture

The Two Ronnies - The Worm That Turned

The date line is 2012. England is in the grip of a new regime of terror. Traditionally a land of brave heroes and great statesmen, Britain now laboured under the yoke of a power guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of all men... The country is being run by women...


machineh's picture

Hillary Clitler 2016 -- leading in the polls already.

debtor of last resort's picture

Would be fun when the PPT gets 'infected' on some black friday.

Being Free's picture

first President George W. Bush, then Barack Obama, oversaw the deployment of the worm

R = D

Got it!

ItsDanger's picture

Guys, when it comes to programming, Iran is 100% outgunned by other countries.  Some of the worst programmers come from the Middle East.

DeadFred's picture

The Chinese seem to be on their side.

ItsDanger's picture

Keep in mind 99% of the best programmers here arent involved in virus development against another country.  Pay them enough and the rest are screwed.

saints51's picture

nah, The US is not the best in programmers. They may be equal to other countries but not the best.

Zero Govt's picture

"I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished."

Oh crap, not another Govt program

Oh crap, not another Govt

Oh crap, our Govt

Oh crap, every Govt


...this crap doesn't get any better guys. Bin It.

Piranhanoia's picture

Another wonderful invention brought to you by Microsoft.

MS invent?    what a joke.  

Uncle Remus's picture

This whole affair is pretty damned funny. It's like watching dumbasses piss into the wind.

Zero Govt's picture

the Govt of Isreal isn't exactly in the Einstein bracket of problem solving

80 years of miserable failure in Palestine to be even half-decent neighbours and get-along and they can't even get out of the starting blocks

this is another starting-gun accident shot in the foot for their Foreign Office calamity clown team, someone really ought to sack these self-harming nutters and get a new team to do a proper job

New_Meat's picture

How stupid is Chevron using Ziemenz gear.  They ought to get some real systems like HON, then snet just bounces off.

Tinky's picture

When asked to comment, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reportedly said:

"Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy – oops! – I meant corporation."

booboo's picture

Is this why my zip lock sandwich bags stopped working last week?
"God damn you dirty monkeys, you blew it up!!!"
Maybe next time they will set the safety on the fucking torpedo's

VelvetHog's picture

On the torpedo's what?  The suspense is killing everyone!

Atomizer's picture

You bad, bad peasants. You didn’t buy our electric cars, Fuck You. We told you, no more Nuclear energy plants! We told you, if we go to war with Iran, 200+/bl prices.


All of you peeps ignored me on TV. I’m a billionaire who keeps you safe from other energy alternatives. My assclown entertainer on CNBC keeps telling you to buy NAT contracts. You leave me with no other options, I must sabotage all oil companies to herd you into my natural gas stash. Don’t make me take down all of you {except me}  oil fucks.  Natural gas is the motherfucking future for everyone. Stop screwing with me proles, my age is catching up. We hope to see full transformation within my investment vision.

VelvetHog's picture

I think a few hundred billion in tax payers' dollars should be offered up help Chevron out.  Those poor guys........

ziggy59's picture

Sorry for the doublemint gum experience

ziggy59's picture

What if it doesnt or didnt just infect the oil cos? It was created to infect the nuclear enrichment facilities... So g-d forbid it infects our nuclear power plants, if it hasnt already established there.
The arrogance that a destructive computer virus could be contained to a small country

buzzsaw99's picture

All I can say is HA HA!

Sutton's picture

Shocked  when a virus goes viral.

ArrestBobRubin's picture

Almost no one here has questioned whether Stuxnet was actually American made? Why does America take this hit?

There's plenty to suggest it was created in Israel. How pathetic so many can be lead so easily without questioning what they're being told, or if they're being played. Again. Especially pathetic in light of how many times we've been lied to and then learned that was the case. Think it's different here?

The coffee folks.... smell it.

knukles's picture

Obie already said it was ours, publicly.

saints51's picture

One of the other guys already posted a link where Obama took credit. Here it is;





JR's picture

Israel: Stuxnet Is Our Baby – Obama Disclosed It For Reelection Campaign

Posted by Jim Hoft on June 10, 2012| Gateway Pundit

Israeli Mossad agents told Haaretz that Stuxnet was developed by Mossad and not the Bush Administration. The agents also claim the Obama Administration disclosed the program to help Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.
Israel Matzav reported:

A group of Mossad agents speaking with Haaretz’s Yossi Melman on condition of anonymity have said that the Mossad – and not the Bush administration – developed Stuxnet, and that President Obama is now trying to take credit for it in a bid to help his reelection campaign (Hat Tip: MFS – The Other News via Atlantic Wire). Please recall the David Sanger piece in the New York Times about Stuxnet, which I blogged last week, which claimed that the Bush administration had begun developing Stuxnet, that President Obama had ordered it accelerated, and that Israel had only joined in later. Now, look at what Melman has to say about it.

The Israeli officials actually told me a different version. They said that it was Israeli intelligence that began, a few years earlier, a cyberspace campaign to damage and slow down Iran’s nuclear intentions. And only later they managed to convince the USA to consider a joint operation — which, at the time, was unheard of. Even friendly nations are hesitant to share their technological and intelligence resources against a common enemy.

More… John McCain told CNN today the Obama Administration is behind the security leaks


SIOP's picture

I dont understand, it is well known the Stuxnet virus "infected" thousands upon thousands of computers world wide. That's the beauty of the virus, spread itself far and wide but only become active in certain very specific computer environments. It was a very specialized virus. So yea, I would assume Chevron was "infested", but I would also assume where I work was as well.

Affected Countries