60 Minutes: Stuxnet represents the new warfare

60 Minutes: Stuxnet represents the new warfare

Summary: The Stuxnet worm may represent the new era of warfare.

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TOPICS: Security
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Former U.S. intelligence officials and computer security experts argued on 60 Minutes that the Stuxnet worm ushers in a new era of warfare.

Here's the full report:

Also see:

60 Minutes: Stuxnet copycats: Let the hacking begin

60 Minutes: Stuxnet: Computer worm opens new era of warfare

Topic: Security

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4 comments
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  • test

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    xyzzyuserone
  • This is like Rock Paper Scissors...

    Nukes beat bombs, Bombs beat computers, Computers beat nukes.
    danilko1
    • I don't think so

      Nukes create EMP which fries computers! End of story!
      Dr BobM
  • Cyberspace, the new battle space + Stuxnet

    Ah, Cyberspace, the newest officially designated battle space, complete with its own tactics, techniques, and procedures, just like the land, sea, and air we've all come to know and love. Stuxnet was only an early, first-round move in it.

    Stuxnet was fascinating to follow from a security standpoint--the 60 Minutes presentation here does a great job of summarizing it. I believe the former CIA director interviewed was correct: it was not at all an accident that it was "inadvertently" revealed to the world. It was wholly intentional--after its work in Iran was complete. It was clearly an outward gauntlet-dropping by the US (& probably Israelis) to a worldwide audience, demonstrating their prowess in a dramatic yet easily deniable way. Congress and the experts shown are finally catching on to what the overt intended message was from whatever nation state(s) were behind it: the Genie is out of the bottle--watch out & be very afraid. We're now entering into the next predictable stage: FUD upon FUD, dire warnings, and predictions of "not a matter of if, but when" such an attack is made on US soil against the US. But those warnings may be merely to prime the public for the next phase.

    From a nation state's perspective, this type of attack is fantastic--it is virtually completely untraceable and therefore makes confirmed attribution impossible. This is a very important and useful characteristic for an attack vector for multiple reasons. It's clearly helpful to avoid retribution from your target, but, even moreso, it is an essential characteristic for false flag operations of any kind.

    For example, if you happen to be a large nation-state looking for broadly accepted public justification for large-scale military action, this type of attack in the form of a self-inflicted false-flag operation & wound has enormous potential. Given that the US has successfully (& almost successfully) used such operations in the past as a public justification for pre-emptive warfare (think Gulf of Tonkin, USS Liberty, and, most recently, 9/11), the bigger message from US (and perhaps Israeli) intelligence agencies & military to other countries of the world is clearly: don't mess with us, or we can & will *create* a such an impetus. How? Demonstrate to the world that <insert nation state>'s fingerprints are put all over the Son of Stuxnet variant that was used to implement a massive attack on American soil. The threat of false flag terrorism is the heart of the message here to every other intelligence community in the world. And they are not dolts--they can clearly see the writing on the wall.

    Unfortunately, such inevitable actions will be at the expense, once again, of innocent American lives on American soil. And the American public will willingly attribute it to whomever the US decides to (very convincingly) blame it on. The broader world will know better, as it already does with past similar actions, but it will make little difference within the US. (again, as today)

    Feel free to unleash all the "conspiracy" complaints and tirades you like (whether innocent knee-jerking or intentional disinformation), but I believe this is very powerful posturing among world powers that all have front-row seats to here, and Stuxnet was just one move in a much larger game. The tip of the iceberg to those of us not in the murky world of nation-state intelligence games. (and, yes, "conspiracy" is normal operating procedure in the intelligence industry--you ought to have known that by now)
    SDLFan