Have you heard the latest non-story that the media isn’t really reporting that has global implications? Which one? You may ask. I am referring to the Stuxnet worm that has been gallivanting around for the last few months. Sure, I know what your thinking, “Why is this political blog going techie nerd on us?” Ladies and gentlemen the buzz on this computer virus known as “Stuxnet” is disturbing, and has serious political implications. OK here is the back story:
For a few months this Stuxnet worm has been infiltrating computers globally and behaving moderately as far as worms go. This worm however is completely different from anything experts have seen before. It has been spreading with thumb drives, and has a very complicated code that works differently than the usual worms. Experts who have been deconstructing Stuxnet found some interesting things. First of all it appears to be a targeted weapon. Experts have compared it to a Tomahawk missile. No one knows for sure the exact target, but many speculate that the target is the Bushehr Nuclear power plant in Iran. Most intelligence agencies believe that this site will be used to enrich Uranium for Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The Stuxnet worm code is written in a way that fingerprints the system it infects. If all of the programmed criteria are met, (no one is quite sure what the criteria are) it launches a kill sequence. The kill sequence turns off turbine lubrication, and rpm limits. This in effect would cause a physical mechanical failure or explosion. This is the first virus sent out to cause physical real world damage. The mechanisms and complexity causes experts to say that it is a state sponsored weapon.
Suspects on the list? Why Israel and the US of course. They have been the most vocal critics both of whom have threatened to bomb the facility. This is where I come in.
What are the political implications of state sponsored cyber warfare? Who would do this and why? Where does this lead us? Who benefits? How will our current administration use this?
Politically speaking, if the US is not involved in this, it is a warning shot across our bow that signals extreme danger. Our current administration has a tendency to exaggerate, and create dangers to promote its socialist agenda. Here is the carrot they need for “Net neutrality” or other legislation to gain more control of the internet in the name of national security. Here is the million dollar question. Why haven’t they? If this Stuxnet worm can target an individual facility, is state sponsored, and can come and go as it pleases, it is a huge threat to national and global security. All power generation facilities are at risk. It is the perfect emergency to take advantage of. Unless of course you made it… Then you might want to let it quietly settle into the background noise. Maybe you could even hire a comedian to distract people… (Colbert testifies before Congress which was by the way was quite funny) Israel would love to be blamed for this. This is the type of thing that even if they are not capable of pulling it off (who knows, they could be) they would love their enemies to think they might be able to do it. Whoever did it, it was a smart move in the short-term. It delays the Iranian effort, and buys more time to garner support in the UN. In the long-term it sets dangerous president. This is another reason I suspect US involvement. A few months ago the US Air Force launched an unmanned space drone with a Top Secret payload. The Chinese accused the US of weaponizing space, and starting a space arms race. Starting to weaponize the internet also creates an arms race of sorts. Of course China is way ahead in state sponsored cyber warfare. Our current administration has done more to talk about transparency than any other administration. Unfortunately they are also the least transparent. Obama has increased the use of special forces throughout the world. There are now more special forces active in more countries than any other time in history. This administration is fighting a war that they are not telling YOU about. Whoever created this cyber attack, has given the green light for other countries to attack the US. Rightly or wrongly, they will blame us and use it as precedent to attack our infrastructure with cyber warfare.