Monday, January 17, 2011

Stuxnet about to cause an "Iranian Chernobyl"

The Telegraph story today has Russia warning of an "Iranian Chernobyl' because of a second Stuxnet payload. I don't find this hard to believe, since Stuxnet is just a delivery mechanism. It happened to deliver centrifuge bugs cleverly targeting the Iranian nuclear industry. It could also deliver other payload packages designed to make Chernobyl look like a minor X-ray mishap. The question is, who has the Stuxnet command and control dashboard (PROSUMPTION principle #11 of The Perfect Virus)? If, as Richard Clarke (author of Cyber War) suggests in the December 13, 2010 Newsweek:
Why bother with an expiration date at all? The answer supplied by Clarke is so very Washington-centric that it’s almost a dead giveaway. “All that suggests to me a nation-state actor with a series of lawyers involved in looking at the covert action,” says Clarke, whose latest book is Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It. “I’ve never seen or heard of a worm before that limited its spread.”
Makes sense to me, which also means that the US is running the Stuxnet dashboard. Lawyers run this country. The Israelis wouldn't operate with nearly as much restraint. Which means there probably won't be an Iranian Chernobyl. I can just see a State Department lawyer convincing the administration that we could be guilty of "crimes against humanity" if our involvement in some massive nuclear disaster became public.

The fact that Russia has issued the above warning tells me that they're [check all that apply] (a) miffed that they weren't smart enough to sell the Iranians roach-proof technology; (b) giving fair warning that they'll hold Stuxnet creators responsible for their loss of revenue; (c) they want more revenue from Iran and figure they can sell some protection to them; and/or (d) they're praying to whatever cosmic entity they worship that the USA and not Israel is in control of this thing.

Comrades, if the US is not running the Stuxnet dashboard…all bets are well and truly cancelled. Shalom or else.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?