Malwhere. The attack on Iran.
Posted by Charles II on November 19, 2010
OK, our best ally in the Middle East is now all but openly boasting of using computer malware as part of a strategy of warfare (Broad and Sanger, NYT):
Experts dissecting the computer worm suspected of being aimed at Iran’s nuclear program have determined that it was precisely calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control.
Their conclusion, while not definitive, begins to clear some of the fog around the Stuxnet worm, a malicious program detected earlier this year on computers, primarily in Iran but also India, Indonesia and other countries.
The paternity of the worm is still in dispute, but in recent weeks officials from Israel have broken into wide smiles when asked whether Israel was behind the attack, or knew who was. American officials have suggested it originated abroad.
So, now, how exactly do we go about getting China to rein in its script kiddies, whether state-sponsored or no, who have been rifling through the Pentagon’s computers?
Completely losing our moral authority is a a very bad development. Probably less bad than bombing a country which constitutes no threat to us, but bad.
Finally, whoever wrote the code included a series of clues as to authorship inside it, and they’re things that Israel’s enemies would be unlikely to think of. So, add to the downside of undermining US leadership the fact that (a) the Israelis get the blame (b) it didn’t work, and (c) it included a bit of hubris of the kind that Whoever or Whatever is in charge of this world loves to punish.
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