2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Countdown to Zero Day

#sxsw #KimZetter

Cyber security journalist Kim Zetter will speak about Stuxnet and the launch of the world’s first digital weapon. She explores the story of the virus that destroyed Iran’s nuclear centrifuges—and how it ushered in a new age of warfare. Stuxnet—the name given to the virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear centrifuges—was a digital missile unlike any other virus ever built. Rather than stealing information or damaging the computers it infected, it physically sabotaged the devices the computers controlled—and was therefore a weapon that could wreak untold havoc on any country's infrastructure. Zetter's book “Countdown to Zero Day,” Zetter tells the unlikely cybersleuthing tale behind Stuxnet’s discovery—and explains why the virus has opened Pandora’s Box on a terrifying new era of computer warfare, one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb dropped from a plane.


Kim Zetter


Crown an imprint of Penguin Randomhouse

Kim Zetter is a senior reporter and award-winning journalist for WIRED, covering privacy, security, cybercrime and civil liberties.

She wrote an extensive feature story about the landmark Stuxnet computer worm, a sophisticated piece of malware designed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage Iran's uranium enrichment program, for which she won an award from the Society for Professional Journalists of Northern California in 2012. The worm was the first cyberweapon found in the wild and is believed to be the first malware to cause physical destruction. She has written a book about Stuxnet titled Countdown to Zero Day.

An acclaimed veteran journalist, Zetter's work has received national attention for breaking news on a number of topics over the years, and she has been a frequent guest on TV and radio, including CNN, NPR, PBS's Frontline and NewsHour, and Public Radio International's Marketplace.

In 2010, she and a WIRED colleague broke the story about the arrest of Bradley Manning (Chelsea Manning), the former Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking millions of classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks.

In 2007 she wrote a groundbreaking three-part story on the cybercriminal underground, which was the first to fully expose the world of online carding markets and the players behind them. The piece was told through the eyes of a carder and grifter named David Thomas who ran an online carding forum undercover for the FBI for 18 months after he was arrested.

She has been named one of the nation’s top 10 cyber security reporters by peers and security industry heavyweights in 2010 and 2012 and was recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Investigative Reporters and Editors award in 2005 for a series of investigative pieces she wrote about security problems with electronic voting machines and the controversial companies that make them.

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