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Stuxnet Virus Set Back Iran’s Nuclear Program by 2 Years

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the minor-setback dept.

Government 349

masterwit writes "The Jpost article states: 'The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran's nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by two years, a top German computer consultant who was one of the first experts to analyze the program's code told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Widespread speculation has named Israel's Military Intelligence Unit 8200, known for its advanced Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities, as the possible creator of the software, as well as the United States.'"

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Good for the world! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570000)

LOL, sand-niggers.

Re:Good for the world! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570068)

Let's see who waste mod points on this garbage.
Also, while we are shitposting like fucking MichaelKristopeit9001:

#34570000
dem quads!

And the winner is... (4, Informative)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570008)

Stuxnet Virus Set Back Iran’s Nuclear Program by 2 Years...LOIC set Mastercard back 2 hours. Advantage, Stuxnet!

Re:And the winner is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570058)

Yeah, but... ANONYMOUS gets to wear the Guy Fawkes masks popularized by the book and film V for Vendetta!

Re:And the winner is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570074)

Stuxnet Virus Set Back Iran’s Nuclear Program by 2 Years...LOIC set Mastercard back 2 hours. Advantage, Stuxnet!

Oh come on, they're in different leagues... like the American vs. Canadian militaries.

Re:And the winner is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570216)

Don't you mean,

Stuxnet 1
L.O.I.C. 0

We're just getting started my friend!

Re:And the winner is... (4, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570246)

So did you write Stuxnet or are you running LOIC? If the later might I suggest going outside. I mean just to see it.

Re:And the winner is... (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570590)

>>Stuxnet Virus Set Back Iran's Nuclear Program by 2 Years...LOIC set Mastercard back 2 hours. Advantage, Stuxnet!

Nah, Jimmy Carter set back the US nuclear program by 30 years by banning breeder reactors. Advantage: Carter, by a long mile. Well, Clinton can take some of the blame too, for killing the IFR over the protests of Dirty Dick Durbin, amazingly enough.

I mean, good thing we never built breeder reactors, right? If we had, Iran might have a nuclear program by now, using stolen American plutonium!

(You know all the political mess we are in over waste products, and how California has banned new nuclear until the waste issue is resolved? Breeder reactors use nuclear 'waste' as fuel, burning over 99% of the fuel, instead of the 1% or so efficiency we get from traditional PWR/BWR reactors. IFRs can also burn depleted uranium, and weapons-grade plutonium.)

Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570010)

The impression I get is that it was waiting to fall apart, so the malware could have been been a net positive in a "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" sense - potentially literally when you're talking about nuclear energy

Success (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570028)

Guess what? We're going to be seeing this sort of thing a whole lot more. Compare the expense and risk involved in writing this virus versus firing off cruise missiles or sending planes on bombing missions or an actual ground invasion.

And to beat it all, no-one even knows who was actually responsible for this. Oh yes, the future of modern warfare and sabotage is most certainly here.

Re:Success (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570084)

And to beat it all, no-one even knows who was actually responsible for this.

True, but we do know that it was a country which can keep secrets.

Re:Success (1, Offtopic)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570452)

So definitely not the US then . . . :P

Re:Success (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570094)

Oh yes, the future of modern warfare and sabotage is most certainly here.

Absolutely. If anyone ever needed a proof of concept to do something like this, you can't go idly past this one. I totally agree that this will open a LOT of eyes who will all now be in the "Lets do one of those worm things to solve [insert problem], it worked with the Iranian nuclear program..."

Might be a good time for the CV to start brushing up on writing some malware. Maybe form a small botnet or two just to cut your teeth on... Certainly beats spamming out messages about all sorts of pharmaceuticals as far as a paycheck goes.

Re:Success (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570592)

It will just change security. More isolation in systems. Simpler programs only designed to do the job they need to do and absolutely nothing else. More appliances with completely stripped down or even no operating system.

Basically if you use M$ windows in what is meant to be a completely secure system, than you are a bloody idiot.

I think the two year setback is also likely wildly optimistic, even including the time already lost, unless of course Iran chooses to stick with M$ Windows.

The best hacks are still in hardware, chips built into capacitors, resistors etc. just waiting for that encoded signal to come in via their power feed to initiate intermittent power fluctuations (better than burn out, far harder to fix) and, really destructive when all spares will suffer from the same fault.

Re:Success (3, Funny)

cbeaudry (706335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570172)

I dont think so.

We will see this sort of thing only if its politically inconvenient to use standard warfare.

Because quick and easy, means cheap. Which means, the military industrial complex isn't making profit.

We wont be seeing this replacing standard warfare anytime soon.

Re:Success (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570196)

And to beat it all, no-one even knows who was actually responsible for this. Oh yes, the future of modern warfare and sabotage is most certainly here.

This is what happens when you use off the shelf bloated (buggy) operating systems to power your infrastructure, rather than using slim custom-built OSes that only run approved code which includes only the functions necessary for that system.

Re:Success (2, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570286)

I absolutely guarantee the US government payed as much for this code as it would have for any comparable attack with hardware. Hell, the company I work for just payed $19,000 for a SQL statement shorter than this very sentence.

Re:Success (3, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570474)

I absolutely guarantee the US government payed as much for this code as it would have for any comparable attack with hardware. Hell, the company I work for just payed $19,000 for a SQL statement shorter than this very sentence.

Invoice:
Writing short sql statement: $10
Knowing which short sql statement to write: $18990
(assuming it did something useful and necessary)

Re:Success (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570596)

Getting revenge on a site you hate? Priceless.

Re:Success (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570528)

Compare the expense and risk involved in writing this virus versus firing off cruise missiles or sending planes on bombing missions or an actual ground invasion.

In other words, the relative advantage conferred by our overwhelming advantage in wealth and firepower is being tossed out for a level playing field in which we are very vulnerable and, even developing nations can pose a serious threat.

SIGINT? (3, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570032)

"SIGINT" is an appropriate name for this:

SIGINT is the signal sent to a process by its controlling terminal when a user wishes to interrupt the process.

Although I would have preferred one of these [wikipedia.org] instead:

SIGKILL

SIGSTOP

SIGSTFU

Okay, I made the last one up.

Re:SIGINT? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570080)

signals and intelligence, in army jargon.

Re:SIGINT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570102)

I'm sorry. I thought this was a POSIX forum.

SIGHUP

Re:SIGINT? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570208)

Uh, it meant something else, for a LOOONG time before computers were around.

Re:SIGINT? (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570236)

SIGSTFU

Okay, I made the last one up.

This is one we definitely need....

And it's pretty obvious what it should do, also.... close and invalidate any file descriptors attached to that process that are TTY devices. If there are any pipes (named or otherwise) open for write access, then substitute with /dev/null

Re:SIGINT? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570466)

SIGHUP -> SIGOHNO
SIGINT -> SIGPWND
SIGQUIT -> SIGWUT
SIGILL -> SIGWTF
SIGABRT -> SIGORLY
SIGTRAP -> SIGRAEP
SIGKILL -> SIGSTFU
SIGSEGV -> SIGOMFG
SIGTERM -> SIGRTFM
SIGSTOP -> SIGKTHX
SIGCONT -> SIGGOGO

Re:SIGINT? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570300)

They sent an interrupt signal to Iran's nuclear program?

Re:SIGINT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570352)

Yup. The trick was figuring out which interrupt had a two year service routine associated with it.

Re:SIGINT? (2)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570556)

Military jargon like this seem sot be a very weird combination of abbreviation and acronym, in ALL CAPS to boot.

Heh. 2 years...just in time (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570042)

to be a wedge issue in the next US elections. /rolls eyes

Go Stuxnet! (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570044)

This takes out a country's nuclear capability for two years. It's bloodless and painless, unless you are an Iranian Atomic Engineer.

Re:Go Stuxnet! (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570410)

It also saves a *whole lot* of Iranian civilian lives.

MISSION: (1)

transfatfree (1920462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570050)

SUCCESS!

Re:MISSION: (0)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570356)

This was a triumph?

Re:MISSION: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570544)

I'm making a note here: Huge Success!

How's this under YRO? (1, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570082)

Just asking.

Re:How's this under YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570156)

I don't know.... maybe submitter is running their own U235 enrichment centrifuge in his basement and was affected by the worm?? who knows....

Re:How's this under YRO? (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570180)

Protecting our Second Commandment rights?

Re:How's this under YRO? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570416)

Second commandment rights?

You shall have no other gods before Rick Astley?

How wasteful we humans are. (1, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570088)

The Iranians build bombs to destroy people. Their enemies work to to destroy Iran's capability to build bombs.

It's one big testosterone-saturated circle-jerk.

What a lot of wasted effort.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570124)

Wasted effort, to stop a regime hellbent on removing another country's inhabitants from the map via absolutely any means possible, from having the biggest, nastiest weapon ever conceived?
br Not in my book.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570150)

too late, Israel got the bomb decades ago

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (2)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570188)

And they haven't used it.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (0, Offtopic)

wmac (1107843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570316)

They have been successful in killing hundreds of thousands Palestinian without those nukes.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570272)

Israel never removed a country's inhabitants from the map. They also haven't vowed the destruction of another country in the region, unlike a certain other regime in said region.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570610)

"Israel never removed a country's inhabitants from the map."

They did. By locking them up in a ghetto. Yes, they have not _kill_ them (yet).

"They also haven't vowed the destruction of another country in the region, unlike a certain other regime in said region."

Yup. They just keep on genociding, why waste time on public vows and declarations?

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (0)

toutankh (1544253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570634)

"Israel never removed a country's inhabitants from the map."

Right, before 1948, what we now call Israel was a land with nobody living in it. Oh and they also didn't slaughter anyone living there in order to create their artificial country. Not to mention anything in Lebanon (e.g. slaughtering refugees in Sabra and Shatila), or stealing water from all countries around, none of which can do anything because well Israel has nuclear power and they don't.
Naturally they also don't continue to remove Palestinians from their land through aggressive and violent colonization.

Now it's fine to have strong opinions, but they should nonetheless be consistent with historical facts. What you say is not.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (2, Insightful)

kanto (1851816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570234)

I'm tired of this monotonic "they're out to get us and they're missiles just got modded +1 Not Funny". As far as I know Iran isn't a particularly bad country for that neck of the woods; shouting "death to X" there doesn't literally mean you're going to kill someone, you could yell it a vending machine when it swallows your quarter. Yeah, they're backwards, but at least in many cases they seem less backward than their neighbors.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570500)

I'm tired of this monotonic "they're out to get us and they're missiles just got modded +1 Not Funny". As far as I know Iran isn't a particularly bad country for that neck of the woods;

Neck of the woods = Planet Earth. And yes they are.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570244)

MarkvW meant "wasted effort" as it applies to wars and conflict in general.

And no, Iran is not hellbent on removing Israel from the map or they would have already taken steps towards that. Iran is just sabre-rattling and wanted to be important in the circle-jerk that MarkvW describes.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570262)

If someone says they're going to kill you, you don't hand them a gun, and you do what you can to make sure they don't get a gun.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570394)

OTOH, here in the US, I've often heard teenage girls vow to kill someone in revenge for a minor social slight. For some reason, people don't get all upset about "terrorist teenage girls" when they hear this, and they don't seem to worry at all about those girls getting access to weapons.

(And in Alaska, some of those girls grew up carrying and using weapons. ;-)

This puts it all in some sort of perspective, I suppose.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570456)

Mmm, not sure the second amendment agrees with you. You go see the police may be or go buy a gun and wait for them. that makes you a law abiding citizen. hitting them with your car while they're going to the store to buy their gun makes you a jerk.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570546)

This isn't hitting their car. It's sabotaging the die from which they plan to produce thousands of guns, all intended for you and/or your friend.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570624)

well thank you that's thoughtful. but still illegal :)
Let's say Dexter got caught by the police ... what would happen to him?
from your standing the guy is wrong to try and kill you. from somewhere else may be your the bad guy and he had a good reason to try and kill you. If your on the other side of the barrel there is only one conclusion : (you are wrong and the guy holding the gun is right) OR (||) (you are right and the guy holding the gun is wrong) -> (P) OR (-P) that statement is always true. that is why we need a third party.
If it was for me ... nobody deserves the right to have a nuke. but who am I to prevent others from having one if I own one? what makes me so special that I deserve to have one? This is a situation where we need a rule with no exception, a rule that is applied blindly without the need to think of a "what if ...". no nukes for any one, NO exception.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570436)

Wasted effort, to stop a regime hellbent on removing another country's inhabitants from the map via absolutely any means possible, from having the biggest, nastiest weapon ever conceived?

Which country are you talking about? On the one hand you have a country that hasn't started a war in over 300 years and had an actual democratic government before we overthrew it (Iran) and on the other you have a country formed by forcibly taking land from native inhabitants, and who's people have been involved in conflicts for basically their entire existence (Israel).

Everybody knows what the real problem is in the region, it's just that some people won't admit it because of ulterior motives. We backed the wrong country.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570144)

Yeah, you're absolutely right, you should fly to Teheran and give that Immadinnerjacket a piece of your mind! He just needs to hear your persuasive, modern arguments against building bombs and he'll have no excuse but to bow to your superior insight and sensitivity.

goodluckwithtthat

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570164)

If i lived in Iran, I'd want nuclear weapons too, to counterbalance the threat to Iran, of Israel's weapons program.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1, Troll)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570200)

If the Arabs(and some Persians) put down their weapons today there would be peace in the region. If the Israelis put down their weapons there would be no more Israel.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570350)

Yes, if they put down their weapons their oil and countries will be owned by US and its allies. If they don't put down their weapons, US will attack, kill hundreds of thousands of their people (aka almost 500,000 in Iraq, several hundred thousands in Afghanistan) and again own their oil.

By having nukes, Iran can stop US and other greedy western countries from thinking about their oil.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570386)

That narrative is unfalsifiable and ridiculous.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570482)

why can;t BOTH to put their weapons down? some people tend make it seam like the Arabs are causing havoc in the middle east, and thus are savages that we need to either control or exterminate (a deja vu ...). And by the way that IS antisemitic.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570484)

If the Arabs(and some Persians) put down their weapons today there would be peace in the region. If the Israelis put down their weapons there would be no more Israel.

So true. Yet so many don't understand.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570524)

Applying your logic : "getting rid of all the assholes (on both sides) that think like you would achieve world peace" ... see how that sound?

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570532)

Israel cannot stand alone, regardless of how many weapons it has.

Without US aid, Israel will cease to exist.

The Arab countries know this, and this is one of the major reasons that
the US is hated in the middle east.

I don't think it's worth what it is costing the US, myself, and sooner or later
anyone who isn't a Jew but is American is going to agree, no matter how
much the Jews spend on propaganda ( cough ... NPR ... cough ).

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570210)

If I were the president of the country in the middle of this map [wordpress.com] , it would be almost criminally irresponsible of me not to develop nuclear weapons as quickly as possible. The US tends to attack countries that have oil, don't have nukes, and refuse to play ball.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570378)

Bases in Kuwait as well.

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570510)

If i lived in Iran, I'd want nuclear weapons too, to counterbalance the threat to Iran, of Israel's weapons program.

Israel has never launched a war of aggression. On the other hand, its Muslim neighbors have launched four wars against it with genocidal aims.

Who is the threat again?

Re:How wasteful we humans are. (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570304)

Iranians have not attacked any country in the recent history while they have been attacked by Iraq (supported by Europe, US and even Russia).

US has occupied two of their neighboring countries. They have every right to prepare themselves to defend. Otherwise the greedy US might want to own their oil and everything else.

Besides there is no evidence that they are building nukes.

Hey, what about the Russians??? (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570092)

I don't know why people think the only strong suspects are Israel and the U.S.

If you think about it, Russia not only has a number of potential motives (was paid off by one of the other arab nations like Saudi Arabia, annoyed at Iran for some reason, wants to make money selling the "fix" to the problem...), they have countries with many hackers that are well known for ability and also not as prone to speak out about what they are doing as a team (and this was a team effort) of U.S. hackers would be. On top of THAT, Russia also has (had?) engineers on site, which they could have used as an attack vector even unknowingly.

Re:Hey, what about the Russians??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570122)

Whoever they are, they have many thanks from the rest of the world.

Re:Hey, what about the Russians??? (3, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570168)

Russia has actually repeatedly try to mediate the standoff by promising to do all the uranium enrichment necessary for nuclear power in Russia and then send the enriched uranium to Iran, all at a cost of course. The argument was that Iran could use the uranium to generate nuclear power ,which is their projects ostensible goal, without Iran getting any of the technology necessary to make a bomb. It never really made any progress.

Two years...? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570106)

Okay, so the F'n A says that they've been set back two years. The main reason cited is that they ahve to wipe all their machines etc to ensure the malware is gone.

This is where my ignorance on the topic begins... So they have malware that attacks the Iran nuclear facility. It targets them without really hurting anybody else. How can this realistically take two years to clean up? Again, I'm being dense here, but the target is so specific I don't see how they can't just change a couple of things and avoid any more damage. Am I being really dumb or only just kind of dumb?

Re:Two years...? (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570170)

There's a whole gigantic facility (possibly two) that needs to have all its machinery removed and replaced with a different type, and you really believe it's a plug and play type of deal? (Stuxnet only affects a specific machine, the Siemens S7-300, and only when attached to specific variable frequency drives [centrifuges] - this is why Stuxnet is known to be a targeted operation. The Windows infection is just meant to use way to get itself onto those specific machines, and it does no real harm on Windows machines. When attached to the variable frequency drives, it messes with the operation of the centrifuge, preventing it from enriching uranium, but largely not affecting other operations. See why people think the US and Israel did it, because of the complexity, yet?)

Put it this way; the whole interior may need to be redesigned and reworked to accommodate a new type of centrifuge. This building probably took 5-10 years to design, top to bottom, and is likely to take 2+ to rework, redesign, and get the equipment delivered, installed, and fully operational.

Re:Two years...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570214)

Doesn't it physically damage the centrifuges by spinning them up and down rapidly? If it did that, well I'm guessing the centrifuges aren't exactly something you could pop down the street and pick up at your local Radio Shack. Something I heard from someone who may have heard it from a relative who read it in Playboy, only for the articles..

Re:Two years...? (5, Informative)

surfdaddy (930829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570250)

A VERY interesting article with a lot of detail from (I know) Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/11/26/secret-agent-crippled-irans-nuclear-ambitions/ [foxnews.com] A bit more detail that I'd read elsewhere. I strongly encourage everybody to read this. Quite an admirable job. But then you think that of course this could happen to control systems in the US as well. We all know countries and organizations that might be happy to attack. I'm sure this sort of thing will only grow in the years ahead.

So the "cyberwar" begins (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570130)

Well I hate the word "cyberwar", but I wasn't really sure what else to call it. It seems that warfare has finally taken place at the computer level. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here..

Personally, I'd prefer war this way. Less lives lost.

Re:So the "cyberwar" begins (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570274)

Personally, I'd prefer war this way. Less lives lost.

You think attacks against computers are incapable of causing lives to be lost?

People need a supply of food to survive.

What happens if an enemy infects the banking system and manages to shut down all ETF Transactions, Wire transfers, the ATM network, and causes a nationwide blackout and bricking of key infrastructure components?

And we haven't even gotten to the possibility of trojan horses messing with weapons systems and causing them to self-destruct or activate targetting the country that owns them.

Re:So the "cyberwar" begins (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570332)

What if Skynet becomes self-aware and launches nukes?

If Only (1)

Auto_Lykos (1620681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570146)

Diplomatic discussion on Stuxnet wasn't top secret and would show up in the WikiLeaks cables.

This is one event that we could use secret info being leaked to the public on. (At least for geeks)

Re:If Only (2)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570218)

Oh, I think its best if nobody knows who did this.

Re:If Only (1)

Auto_Lykos (1620681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570390)

True, but a bit of selfish wishing can't hurt.

Re:If Only (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570252)

and have a bunch of islamo fascists target that country specifically, all for your GEEKY satisfaction.
now I know why geeks are kicked around like football in US high schools. Because they are disconnected from reality, living in a world of bits and bytes alone.

Dark horse candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570158)

The "First post" posts on Slashdot sometimes appear with frightening speed, suggesting the work of a tight-knit group of hackers who might've pulled off Stuxnet as a skills development exercise.

Problematic Approach (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570176)

The problem with this approach and other similar forced social and technological engineering attempts by the west against Iran, is that it forces Iran to become more independent and self-reliant. It is true that there is a temporary short-term win, however in the long run it creates a scenario of technological escalation.

Lets review Technological Escalation ala'Iraq:

Attack Vector: IED v1.0 - Road side bomb with detonator fuse wire, bomber hides in near buy building, waits for US tanks to go past, presses red button
US Countermeasure: Train soldiers to look for suspicious packages or mounds of garbage were wire or some such are leading away from mound, once detected fire at location where wire ends up.

Attack Vector: IED v2.0 - Same as v1 but now uses a wireless trigger mechanism based on childrens walkie-talkies to set-off explosive. As before waits for US tanks to go past, presses red button
US Countermeasure: Provide signal jamming equipment on-board all patrols and tanks.

Attack Vector: IED v3.0 - Same as v2 but now uses continuous signal trigger mechanism to set-off explosive. As before waits for US tanks to go past, presses red button, but now signal stops and explosive goes kaboom!
US Countermeasure: Same as before but instead of jamming the signal, all terrestrial signals are replicated, allowing the tank/patrol to pass by without being blown up.

Attack Vector: IED v4.0 - Same as v3 uses continuous signal trigger mechanism to set-off explosive. Signal begin sent is encrypted and uses a random sequence number, As before waits for US tanks to go past, presses red button, signal stops and explosive goes kaboom!
US Countermeasure: Pray...., play crappy rock/death metal music while driving around bagdad.

Attack Vector: IED v5.0 - Same as v4, but now they have time to refine the design of the ordinates, remember the movie coneheads with Dan Akroid? Well it turns out for a really good focused explosion, all you need is a piece of steal in that shape packed with C4, with the pointy end aim at the direction you wish the explosive to fire - Armoured penetration as per and 09' pentagon report is roughly successful 85% of the time.
US Countermeasure: Pray....

Attack Vector: IED v6.0 - Same as v5, but made to be more weather resistant, with added proximity sensors, modern cars aren't made with as much steel and Iron as patrol cars or tanks - so it makes for a good differentaitor which can be use with a proximity fuse.
US Countermeasure: N/A

Do you really want to force your enemies hand like this?

Re:Problematic Approach (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570516)

Huh? You're example makes no sense. Versions 2-6 for some reason rely on this concept that you want to prevent the bomb from exploding. You're trying to prevent your convoy from getting injured. Well then, why wouldn't I have my signal jammer cover a 100 meter radius? Sure, the bomb will go off, but well before I get there. Bonus: bomb explodes while enemy is still setting it up/explodes their entire cache of bombs if they were stupid enough to keep them armed).

Re:Problematic Approach (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570552)

Do you really want to force your enemies hand like this?

It has been quite profitable for those in the military/contractor revolving door who have been responsible for this strategy. Although in theory its people higher up the chain who decide the policy, they do so based on the expert advice of people who are neither entirely honest nor interested in the long term.

Re:Problematic Approach (4, Insightful)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570648)

More sophisticated = more costly. If the end-result of this game is raising the cost for Iran to seek nuclear weapons then it's a win in its own right.

its important to keep in mind (3, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570184)

regardless of how awed the media is in the wake of the stuxnet worm, things like this only work once, and only under certain conditions. In any functional nuclear program there exists a very strict information systems security policy to prevent exactly this type of malicious activity from occuring. I also wouldnt be surprised if the "two years" assertion is an overstatement to placate the middle east.

Iran will likely switch from windows controllers for their Siemens PLC's to hardened linux or BSD, taking a page from chinese internet security experts and refusing to trust western code that cannot be independently evaluated. and if we remember the cold war, irans woes feel like washingtons foreign policy from the cold war being flexed all over again [zdnet.co.uk]

Re:its important to keep in mind (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570334)

Ahhh... would that be the reason we got that fed-story about how openbsd ssh has a backdoor. With all the stuff in wikileaks and happening to Assange, this would actually be a perfectly good time to get paranoid.

Re:its important to keep in mind (1)

Yossarian45793 (617611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570438)

For Iran to do what you propose would require that they had a large workforce of highly skilled IT people who are both willing to work for the Iranian government and considered trustworthy by the Iranian government. Iran is not exactly known for its leading edge science and technology. The article itself states that IT in Iran is abyssmal. They may be well advised to try to do as you say, but they probably can't.

This just in, (1)

jordan_robot (1830144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570186)

Mission Accomplished!

(two thumbs up)

Windows for refining uranium??? (0)

halfdan the black (638018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570368)

Only an idiot would use Windows for something critical. Only the crown prince of the kingdom of idiots would refine uranium using Windows? Honestly, what would posses someone to do something as absolutly insane as controlling a uranium centrifuge using freaking MS Windows????

Re:Windows for refining uranium??? (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570536)

Only an idiot would use Windows for something critical. Only the crown prince of the kingdom of idiots would refine uranium using Windows? Honestly, what would posses someone to do something as absolutly insane as controlling a uranium centrifuge using freaking MS Windows????

I doubt Windows actually controls the centrifuges. On the other hand, all of the data, research notes, statistical analysis, etc. is probably sitting on a file share and accessed through people's desktops.

Re:Windows for refining uranium??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570644)

Apache attack helicopters use NT4 for ordinates managment, this includes ALL firecontrol mechanisms.

Many won't admit this but ... (2)

ryan.onsrc (1321531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570370)

... I would argue that this is *proof* that a transparent national defense (as promoted by the pro-Wiki-Leaks crowd) is a very bad idea. Assuming that the U.S. is behind this (a bold assumption yes, but is highly likely), for some-one to "leak" information on this, would be a travesty.

And no: this is not flame-bait ... I just making a "case in point" observation here.

Re:Many won't admit this but ... (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570554)

The travesty would be if the US did this and all the discussions, memos, meetings, names of programmers etc were all just classified secret...

Place blame where it is needed. US security regarding classified information is significantly lacking... The fact that you could burn to a CD or copy to a USB drive on a classified network is completely ass backwards.

Uh... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570382)

Great - so they were delayed 2 friggin years. Woop-de-doo. Now they'll get it sorted out and get back on track, and the problem is EXACTLY the same as it was beforehand.

There are only two ways to stop Iran from pursuing this - either convince them somehow it's not something they need/want to do, or use military force to make it something they CANNOT do. This did neither.

Frankly, I don't think there is any practical way out of this one. I have a hunch Iran wants nuclear weapons to be able to tell the rest of the world to bugger off - any non-nuclear power is a candidate for invasion, but a nuclear power is a different story and it's a good guess Iran wants to become non-viable as an invasion target. Given that, why would they do anything other than exactly what they say they are going to do - i.e. pursue whatever they want to? They want to be independent and non-dependent - even if they really don't want nuclear weapons, nuclear power is a good option for that and refining their fuel elsewhere just makes them a client state of the rest of the world.

Here's an interesting mental exercise - put yourself in Iran's shoes. Which course would YOU pursue? You've had a front row seat for the invasion of Iraq, been listed (effectively) as an enemy of the US, and you want to ensure your state remains its own state and not beholden to some other power. What is your best option? Trust to the good intentions and honorable behavior of others, or develop your own power/capabilities internally?

Iran probably is a danger due to their radical leadership, but expecting them to act in any interest other than their own, as THEY see it, is a pipe dream. And slowing their program by two years does absolutely nothing to change the larger picture and larger dangers, which play out over decades not years.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570568)

But why go through the trouble of actually developing nukes, instead of faking it? It is possible to get enough explosive together, set it off underground, and make the world think that the shock wave was from a nuke. In fact, certain mining operations have to be careful to stage their explosions when they demolish the side of a cliff, so as to prevent other countries listening to the shock waves from thinking it was an underground nuke test.
So if they fake a nuke test, then build up some missiles and pretend, they would have still accomplished their goal of preventing foreign invasion.

Why Would We Do That? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570424)

If we wanted to take away their toys, we'd just bomb them into the ground. Nope, I bet it's Russia. They like all that cloak and dagger crap. On this side of the pond we favor a more direct approach.
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