30 June 2017 |William Greider| The Nation
“…Stuxnet was the first digital weapon devised by the NSA in collaboration with Israeli experts. The invention of destructive code was first authorized in 2006 by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama.
The strategy assumed Iran would abandon its nuclear development if its engineers couldn’t control their own centrifuges (the same sabotage was originally intended for North Korea but never applied).
The malware worked—crashing hundreds of Iran’s 6,000 centrifuges—but it failed to dissuade Iranian leaders. They figured the unexplained malfunctions were the result of US sabotage.
Despite US government secrecy, knowledge of the deadly technology has spread around the world. The NSA developed tools to neutralize or patch over the infected software, but those tools have either been stolen or leaked.
According to the Times, the NSA still refuses to share its remedial tools with private industries or foreign governments or even acknowledge that the agency has cures for the pain their technology has caused.
The technical complexities intimidate Luddites like myself, but the core meaning of these events is political, not technological. When Washington officially confirmed its failed Stuxnet strategy back in 2012, a Canadian defense consultant told The Washington Post: “Effectively, the United States has gone to war with Iran and has chosen to do so in this manner because the effects can justify the means…. This officially signals the beginning of the cyber arms race in practice and not just in theory.”
The pirates are currently free to demand ransom, and every government is at a disadvantage. Greenberg pointed out that Russia’s intentions could also be defensive.
“It’s possible that Russia is pulling off these attacks on Ukraine to show what it can do, to signal to the US and the rest of the world, Don’t mess with us. Don’t launch your own cyber attacks on our infrastructure, we have the ability to retaliate.”
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