Stuxnet is in the news again via a new malware, dubbed Duqu or “son of Stuxnet” (full Symantec paper at http://goo.gl/3A3xu). The source remains unclear, but the recent seizures in India may shed some light on that front, as will ongoing analysis by security firms (http://goo.gl/FMPZa).
As an intentional cyberweapon, Stuxnet has a fascinating history. Wired did a great writeup which follows the security professionals who unpeeled the original Stuxnet, and were challenged and surprised at every step:
For unintentional cyberweapons, the CIA 1982 sabotage of a Siberian pipeline which resulted in a spectacular explosion comes to mind. If, as suspected (but not unanimously agreed) Stuxnet was an Isaeli/US creation with the aim of disrupting Iranian nuclear technology, then it can also be classed as the world’s first effective cyberweapon. Having shown what is possible, it cannot be long before new attacks are observed, emanating from other states. The UK already recognises the threat and suspects recent action (not as glamorous as Stuxnet) by hostile states.