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"Stuxnet", The Latest Cyber Warfare Weapon

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"Stuxnet" is the latest cyber warfare weapon just disclosed over the weekend.

Apparently from reports, it is a super effective computer worm developed over the last two years by the Israeli's with assistance by the American Energy Department's "Idaho National Laboratory" and "Siemens", the German industrial giant that manufactures computer controllers for operating industrial machinery.

The intent of developing the "Stuxnet" worm was to find vulnerabilities in the Siemens computer controllers through exhaustive testing and get the worm to ultimately infect Iran's nuclear centrifuges (whose computer controllers are manufactured by Siemens) for enriching uranium to bomb grade levels thus sabotaging Iran's ability to develop a nuclear capability.

And apparently the "Stuxnet" worm has been successful in the sabotage of Iran's nuclear centrifuges as U.N. nuclear inspectors revealed Iran removed a series of damaged centrifuges recently and in November President Ahmadinejad of Iran openly admitted that "a cyber attack had caused minor problems with some of our centrifuges."

As to American and Israeli officials, they both refuse all comments about "Stuxnet". It is only through accounts by "outside computer scientists, nuclear enrichment experts and former officials" [1] that the "Stuxnet" programs' identity and capability was pieced together and revelations of its existence were made known to the public.

From here the ingenious ability of "Stuxnet" to sabotage Iran's nuclear centrifuges may delay its nuclear development but is unlikely to cause Iran to cease and renounce its nuclear development completely. That development has been a source of Iranian national pride even by Iranians who are staunch opponents of the current regime.   Sabotage by the Israeli's and the U.S. will likely only heighten Iran's resolve and its sense of urgency to gain nuclear bomb capability.

In the history of all human weaponry, whenever there has been a technological breakthrough that surpasses previous weapons capability a counter measure has always been developed or the "other side" has always found a way to develop its own similar weapon (thus leveling the "playing field").

Of course this has always been a dangerous game to play as witness the 46 year cold war nuclear weapons development and counter measures that resulted in M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction) the escalation and standoff between the U.S. and the USSR.

Now in the computerized world of today our own vulnerabilities to cyber attack and retaliation by opponents to our own massive computer networks that control electricity production (and our computers), drinking water, water filtration, banking transactions of every sort even the doors of the nations prisons et al, could inflict substantial harm to what is now our basic way of life. Maybe nothing permanently disastrous would result from an opponents success in temporally crippling the nations computer controlled infrastructure but do we not "up the ante" (by inviting retaliation against us) when we (or our right hand abettor Israel) intentionally sabotages another country's technological advancement?

"Stuxnet" sabotage may salve our paranoia over Iran's nuclear development potential and serve to compliment the secret and clandestine efforts of our own CIA and the Israeli Mossad but it is all really madness masquerading as providing national security and defense of the nation.

All lies perpetrated on the American people to make us more fearful.  


[1] "Israel Tests Called Crucial In Iran Nuclear Setback, Computer Worm Was Shown to Sabotage Devices That Process Weapons Fuel", by William J. Broad, John Markoff and David E. Sanger, "The New York Times", January 16, 2011.

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