I’m sure over the past year you may have accidentally stumbled across the word Stuxnet, it is technically a simple computer virus that has started infecting Microsoft Windows computers since July 2010, I too heard some reports of the virus, but as usual shrugged it aside as just another scare, little did I worry any any further until I heard Ralph Langner speak about it at TED 2011 Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon. Only recently after reading a blog post by Amit Agarwal who shared an animated documentary on the Stuxnet Virus prepared by ABC1 Australia on Jun 8th 2011, that made me realize the implications of this mere virus to have the devastation power of becoming a Cyber Weapon of Mass Destruction, im not talking sci-fi, this weapon is being used, carried around on hundreds, thousands and millions of USB’s with the potential force of causing a meltdown in any [or possibly a certain series] of nuclear power plant around the globe.
Chris Anderson: I’ve got a question. Ralph, it’s been quite widely reported that people assume that Mossad is the main entity behind this. Is that your opinion?Ralph Langner: Okay, you really want to hear that? My opinion is that the Mossad is involved, but that the leading force is not Israel. So the leading force behind that is the cyber superpower. There is only one, and that’s the United States — fortunately, fortunately. Because otherwise, our problems would even be bigger.
New York Times Jan 15, 2011: The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program. Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own. Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.… Perhaps the most secretive part of the Stuxnet story centers on how the theory of cyberdestruction was tested on enrichment machines to make sure the malicious software did its intended job. The account starts in the Netherlands. In the 1970s, the Dutch designed a tall, thin machine for enriching uranium. As is well known, A. Q. Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist working for the Dutch, stole the design and in 1976 fled to Pakistan. The resulting machine, known as the P-1, for Pakistan’s first-generation centrifuge, helped the country get the bomb. And when Dr. Khan later founded an atomic black market, he illegally sold P-1’s to Iran, Libya, and North Korea.