back to article Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

The US and Israel jointly developed the infamous Stuxnet worm before using the sophisticated malware to sabotage key components of Iran's controversial nuclear program, according to an investigation by the New York Times. Stuxnet selectively infects industrial control (SCADA) systems from Siemens, establishing a backdoor that …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works for me

    All means to stop terrorisim is OK with me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Works for me

      Of course Israel terrorising the people of Palestine doesn't count as real terrorism does it. As long as it's the "good" people against the "bad" it's fine with you, right?

      This is a classic case of the tail (Israel) wagging the dog (USA), but the sheep (You) are too ignorant/brainwashed to even realise it.

      1. amehaye
        Flame

        Here we go again

        Israel is a terrorist nation, Palestines are innocent farmers. Up is down, left is right. Heard that already, please give me something new.

        Small reminder. Israel sent suicide bombers to kill innocent Palestine men, women and children. No, wait. It was the other way around. The Palestines sent suicide bombers to rip apart young unsuspecting children not 300 yards from where I live. And there were many, many others.

        There, now it sounds more like reality.

        1. zanto
          Unhappy

          amehaye

          you get an up vote from me.

          having said that, i also believe that even one Palestinian killed in one too many as is the case for even one Israeli killed. judging who is worse by numbers killed or who started it first is futile and childish. in the end, we all lose.

          i do wish that we all could one day just learn how to get along.

          life's to short to waste it on hate.

          just think, even one of those kids killed could have one day found a cure for cancer or aids. now we just never will know. like i said earlier, we *all* lose.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Zanto

            You might as well blame the British Government on how they handled the Palestinian question to begin with.

            But lets not gloss over the fact that Hamas doesn't want peace, they want the death of anyone who doesn't agree with them. Including their own Palestinians who aren't members of Hamas. Can you say war(s) between Fatah and Hamas?

            What's sad is that you probably don't know anyone from the Middle East who can tell you what Beirut looked like in the early 70's. It was a very beautiful city and a tourist destination.

            The more you know...

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Grenade

          @amehaye

          Don't let reality hit you between the eyes...

          How many Hamas rockets have indiscriminately fallen on Israel before Israel acted? How many civilian casualties?

          Remember when Israel went in and started to attack Hamas positions? There was one film shot showing Hamas shooting at Israeli positions and then running in to a school that was filled with civilians. They were using their own people as human shields.

          I'm not saying that collateral damage doesn't happen but that Israel did their best to limit civilian casualties and even dropped leaflets and made automated phone calls to warn civilians about their impending arrival.

          With respect to the use of a computer virus to disable a foreign country's nuclear ambition? Works for me. Much less fallout than the alternative of dropping multiple bunker penetrating bombs to ensure that these things go offline.

          And of course the NYT doesn't offer any real proof. For all you know, the Chinese could have done it too.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @amehaye

          Problem is that Israel has done pretty shitty stuff by themselves as well. Bombing the crap out of Lebanon to root out Hezbollah, even when the Lebanese Army does not harbor Hezbollah was an incredibly boneheaded idea. Under that thinking, Israel should bomb the crap out of Germany because they harbor Neo-Nazis, who totally terrorize Jews around the world.

          No, I don't think Israel is a terrorist nation. But the IDF does seem to do pretty bad stuff every now and then.

          1. Wild Bill

            @Ian Michael Gumby

            Did you actually read amehaye's post? You're preaching to the converted

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              @Wild Bill

              Sorry for the confusion. My @amehaye was really @ac @amehaye.

              The original Huh? was in the response to a post up the food chain.

        4. Matt Hawkins
          Flame

          Zionist Malware For All !

          @amehaye

          "Palestines are innocent farmers"

          Not the ones who've had their farms stolen by force. What's funny is that people who moved into the stolen land complain when a rocket flies through the kitchen window. The owner of the property is labelled a terrorist simply for wanting his house back. Over here we call them "victims" and the other person is known as a "criminal".

          It's a bit like a burglar complaining he banged his toe while he was removing your electrical appliances.

          Good to know that the Israeli-US club is happy to infect us all with malware just so they can play politics. Anyone does the same to them ... we'll they're just plain terrorists.

          Can we have an icon depicting a pot sitting next to a black kettle please?

          1. amehaye
            WTF?

            Stolen land

            Israel is not a stolen land. You can check the facts, it is written in the history books. Let me summarize it for you:

            Before the state of Israel was formed, Jews bought land from inhabitants of then (pre 1948) Palestine. In 1948 Israel was announced and immediately attacked by all neighboring (and some non-neighboring) arab nations. 'Palestinian' arabs attacked Israel as well. As things went Israel won this war.

            Later a similar course of events happened in 1967 in the war known as the six days war. Israel won again and obtained more areas of the land which used to be known as Israel in ancient times.

            Then again in 1972. Israel was in bad shape in that war but prevailed in the end.

            Now the way I see it, if you buy land it belongs to you. If you win it in a war which was forced(!) on you, it belongs to you. Aggressors should know that when they attack you they might lose.

            All this land belonged to the ancient Israelites of which we are the descendants. We were expelled from our land about two thousand years ago and the land was taken from us. So we actually bought and defended a land which was our land to begin with.

            ----------------

            Now just to clarify. I do not like violence. I do not hate the Palestines. In fact I would be very happy if we had peace and could build a nice place to live in, for all of us.

            My sister, who is a medical doctor, saved the life of countless Palestinian children. Many of them come to Israel to get decent treatment. A Palestinian doctor is working with her at the hospital. Three of his daughters were killed in the last confrontation in Gaza. I wish they were not.

            You can blame the IDF for accidentally shooting them down. You can blame the Hamas for starting this whole deal. In fact Hamas accidentally killed more than a few Palestinians in that war. In war things like that happen all the time. This is the situation we live in. Now deal with it.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Selective Memory

          Don't suppose you remember the white phosphorus shells fired on a Palestinian playground or the cluster bombs dropped over south Lebanon, ready for children to be picked up. War is bad whoever is evolved but Israel always manages to kill a lot more civilians than the Palestinians do.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Actually

        I'll think you'll find its the Palestinians who are terrorising innocent Israeli's...

        If you actually knew anything you'd know that the Palestinians have been bombarding civilian areas in Israel for decades with all manner of weapons...recently using unguided rockets...the gutless muslim cowards using their own people (usually hospitals) for cover...

        So forgive us for now giving a shit about them...the Israelis didnt start this...and they actually do their best to limit civilian casualties...unlike Hamas, Hezbelloah, the PLO...

        You are another left wing moron with less knowledge of what is actually happening in the world than a one celled amoeba

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hasbara propaganda

          GTFO MOSSAD

      3. Scorchio!!

        Re: Re: Works for me

        "Of course Israel terrorising the people of Palestine doesn't count as real terrorism does it."

        Classic non sequitur. The OP might as well respond by referring to the massacre at a school in Beslan. The rules of civilised discourse require inclusion of relevant, connected facts, not non sequiturs chosen for the convenience and sake of argument for its sake. Oh, wait a minute though, "weeeee!", a Palestinian dog just screamed down the road outside. That's proof of Israel's innocence.

    2. Chad H.
      FAIL

      Nothing to do with terrorism.

      What exactly does an attack on one nation states nuclear facilities have to do with stopping terrorists?

      Quick, op, give me your wallet and all of your pin codes. It's to stop terrorism.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        WTF?

        Huh?

        Hmmm.

        Iran supports internationally recognized terrorist organizations and its a known fact that terrorists would love to get their hands on nukes or nuclear material for a dirty bomb. Since some dolt mentioned Israeli policy of dealing with Palestinians... one should mention that Hamas has known and proven links to Iran's security forces and is funded by them. (Where do you think that they get their rockets and military supplies?)

        Stopping Iran from producing nuclear material that goes beyond 'peaceful means' is in fact a very good thing.

        Stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons should be something we all must agree upon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huh?

          And Israel was set up as a direct result of the actions of Zionist terrorists (+ hundreds billions of $ of funding from the US). Your point?

          What gives Israel and the US the rights to decide who can and cannot have nuclear material? Also, if you're concerned that Iran might initiate WW3, please look up the number of times Iran has been the aggressor in a conflict during the past 100 years and now check Israel and the US's record. An objective observer would most certainly come to a conclusion opposite to yours. But of course you're not objective but rather a shill posting on behalf of the apartheid regime known as Israel.

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: Huh?

          "Stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons should be something we all must agree upon"

          Add to that the very important but not very oft discussed fact that Iran is one of the countries given nuclear technology by AQ Khan, the 'father' of the Pakistan, or 'Muslim', nuclear bomb:

          http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/abdul_qadeer_khan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

          This was not for the purpose of peace. It is a dangerous act to put nuclear weapons in the hands of people like Ahmadinejad, who said:

          "Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world . . . The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land."

          October 26, 2005

          (In an address to 4,000 students at a program titled, 'The World Without Zionism')

          "Soon Islam will become the dominating force in the world, occupying first place in the number of followers amongst all other religions."

          "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces.... Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem? If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe."

          December 8, 2005

          (While speaking to journalists at an Islamic summit in Mecca)

          Oh what an interesting perspective.

          "The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world."

          Not .. a .. terrorist .. .. no.

        3. thecakeis(not)alie

          @Ian Michael Gumby

          "Its a known fact that terrorists would love to get their hands on nukes or nuclear material for a dirty bomb."

          [Citation needed]

          Seriously, are you on drugs? Every terrorist out there knows that the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons crosses the line. The use of an actual weapon on mass destruction (no, a 747 does not count) will result in a level of retaliation never before seen. There isn’t a terrorist out there who doesn’t know that.

          The US is viewed as a bit of a wimp because it consistently gets involved in wars against “insurgents” of one flavour or another and then gets its ass handed to it. It only gets its ass handed to it because it spends a spectacular amount of time and money trying very hard /not/ to kill civilians. Nuke a Western city (or use a dirty bomb, what-have-you) and you will find that the entire might of NATO will grow some political will tout-de-suite.

          The western powers would find their ass and then turn them – and everything else for a hundred or so square kilometres – into a sheet of glass. Casualties be damned. I want to see actual proof that terrorist organisations actually want to get their hands on and use nuclear material. I don’t believe it for a second.

          You don’t win a damned thing for your cause if you and everyone else that believes in your cause have been converted into plasma by the avenging shockwave of a fuel air bomb. Terrorists want to create TERROR. They want to give their enemies the feeling that they can be hit anywhere, at any time, for any reason. They need to keep their attacks limited in scope so as to create sympathy, debate and win over converts.

          They do not under any circumstances want to step over the line so far as to have half the world howling for their blood. Use a nuke on a western city and you officially sign and seal a deal whereby NATO governments can slaughter millions of civilians in that far off land in order to get at the bad guys and the majority of the western voting populace will /cheer them on./

          We aren’t talking about giving G.W.B limited permission to launch a ridiculous, costly and ultimately ineffective ground war against Iraq. We’re talking the kind of carte blanche that would have allowed G.W.B. to turn Iraq into a smoking cinder. Never ever forget for a moment that NATO has /never/ brought to bear the full might of it’s capabilities since its inception. To suggest a terrorist group out there actually wants them to is sheer madness.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Dubyah, is that you?

      Your buddy, Charon, called...

    4. Chris Harden
      Troll

      Youuuuuuu

      Trollin!

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Dubyah, is that you?

        "Your buddy, Charon, called..."

        If indeed you mean Charon (or Kharon as he is known to English speakers), then I expect the ferryman of the river Styx wishes to thank Dubya for the trade, and Toni Poodle Bler.

        ITYM Arial Sharon though, didn't you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Pint

          Actually, no

          It was by way of a rather feeble pune, or play on words, innit?

    5. Big-nosed Pengie
      FAIL

      Including...

      ...terrorism?

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    What would the USA say ...

    if some other country had developed something to target some of its infrastructure or industrial plant ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Title

      If I were Iran (I'm not), I would be thinking exactly that. They already have the Siemans kit to practice on, and the original Stuxnet worm - just a matter of developing another version that targets American facilities (or everyone4 else if you cannot target that accurately) - and I doubt they would bother with nuclear when you could take out great swathes of American industry as an alternative.

      Stuxnet is proof of principle. Now the terrorists really know what to do.

      1. Anton Ivanov
        Thumb Down

        Fixed that for you...

        Quote: "Stuxnet is proof of principle. Now the terrorists really know what to do."

        Now the _governments_ really know what to do - fixed that for you.

        As a first of its kind Stuxnet was a complete overkill (4 zero days and a stolen cert). There will be tens of less sophisticated (but no less effective) copycats for many years to come. There are plenty of countries out there which will have no qualms to give it as a present to their neighbour even the worm hits half of the world as collateral damage after that. I bet that there are hundreds programmers coding away at that all over the world right now.

    2. F111F
      Black Helicopters

      Already Happens on a Daily Basis

      China, especially, and other nations try (and succeed in some cases) to hack the commercial and defense businesses, as well as government systems of the US and other Western nations to gain significant leaps in technology and science. Now, what pray, is the difference between actions to slow one nation down and those to speed the capabilities of another up? Nada, it's just the flip side of the same coin.

  3. Dan Hall

    Ah, the N.Y. Times...

    When investigative reporting leads nowhere, just making stuff up since 1851.

    Barring someone who was directly involved coming out and saying "We did it" all this speculation is just... dare I say it... speculation. The N.Y. Times (as always) just collected up all the conspiracy theories and random stories about this off the net, made up facts where it had no information, and then cobbled it all together into a "hard-hitting investigative report." What's next? A timely story on the "All your base belong to us" meme? An undercover investigation into the realities of Time Cube?

    Why does anybody still bother with that rag?

    1. Steen Hive
      Thumb Up

      @Ah

      "Barring someone who was directly involved coming out and saying "We did it" all this speculation is just... dare I say it... speculation."

      It's known as the WMD/"9/11" excuse. If it's good enough for murdering countless civilians, it's good enough to out some in-house terrorists.

      1. Turtle

        On the other hand...

        You do know, don't you, that C.O.S.I. states that the U.N.-supported sanctions again Iraq were costing the lives of 25,000 children a year, right?

        When you do your arithmetic, you take that into account, right? Or does it not matter?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Dan Hall

      "When investigative reporting leads nowhere, just making stuff up since 1851"

      That explains a lot. I read the NYT article and it just reeks.

      First there's this 'Mr Langner' whose small team managed to continue running their company while achieving all the same results as the Symantec team. Except that they did it in private, with no outside help (Symantec made public calls for expert help) and didn't tell anyone that they'd cracked Stuxnet at all until the NYT magically found them to talk to. Long after the Symantec documents were published and the results presented at a security conference natch. No links to any of Mr Langners papers or even his company anywhere in the report. It's like a Dan Brown penned historical 'fact' based movie plot. All the work of an international group of experts working in cooperation over months is jazzed up, extrapolated and attributed to one small team (of no doubt quirky but lovable geniuses) over a few days.

      Then there's this bit:

      "Another part, called a “man in the middle” in the computer world, sends out those false sensor signals to make the system believe everything is running smoothly. That prevents a safety system from kicking in, which would shut down the plant before it could self-destruct."

      There is a technical term for a safety system that takes its values from a DCS, it's called a door stop (or room heater). Safety systems have their own instruments otherwise they are pointless. So either there was a systems design fail of gargantuan proportion at Nanatz' foreign contractors (Russian iirc) or the article is spouting utter BS*. Personally I doubt there even was a safety system on these centrifuges, there's no point as they are not inherently dangerous. They are the equivalent of the mills and lathes in a gun factory.

      * There is a grain of truth this steaming pile is built on, it's called a root kit not a "man in the middle" and it is there to deceive humans looking for the reasons the machines are failing. If the DCS reported false readings to the SCADA then that part it is neither root kit nor MITM.

  4. smegged
    Boffin

    who

    Which ones are the terrorists, Israel or Iran, always getting those two mixed up...

    1. maclovinz
      Happy

      Raises Hand.

      That would be us. As in: U.S."

      Sigh.

    2. kissingthecarpet
      Black Helicopters

      Exactly

      The problem with negative news items about Iran is that you can't really believe any of them without independent verification(& how likely is that?) because they are the subject of so much propaganda. Its like the USSR - when the Cold War ended it became clear that the US was by far the larger aggressor - the USSR were shit-scared of what the Yanks might do (e.g. Nixon's "Madman Theory" - he wanted the Soviets to believe he was capable of anything, i.e. batshit insane). Iran is afraid of Israel & the US for good reason - they are the aggressors.

    3. Turtle

      Right, because...

      Right. Between Israel and Iran, you can't tell which one is the terrorist because it's pretty obvious that if one nation (Iran, if you don't know) wants to destroy another nation (Israel, if you don't know) and that other nation (Israel, if you don't know) not only does not want to be destroyed, but takes energetic measures to prevent it, then there must be a moral equivalence between the two!

      Or maybe not.

      1. raving angry loony

        See, that's the problem

        Turtle writes "if one nation (Iran, if you don't know) wants to destroy another nation (Israel, if you don't know)"

        Ah, yes, you see, that's the propaganda working there. Iran never said they wanted to destroy Israel. They said they wanted to end the Israeli REGIME - as in, put an end to a government that is itself a terrorist - by ANY definition except the one that says "if we do it, then it isn't terrorism". However, the Israeli government deliberately created a mistranslated version of the statement and passed it on to the US and the (very obedient) western press. The rest, as they say, is history.

        Meanwhile, Iran hasn't actually attacked anyone, anywhere. It also hasn't been "harbouring terrorists". There is NO evidence that Iran is developing "nuclear weapons". NONE.

        Meh, forget it. Trying to correct the massive propaganda the US and Israel have cooked up vis-a-vis Iran seems pretty futile at this point. After all, similar efforts didn't stop the (illegal) invasion and occupation of Iraq after all. Even AFTER the US government admitted they lied, people were STILL saying that "there were no lies" and "there were weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq.

        I guess if the USA and Israel want a confrontation with Iran, they'll get one. I just hope that this time the "coalition of idiots" doesn't start something that gets us all killed.

        1. maclovinz
          Happy

          Fox?

          Fox News anyone?

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: See, that's the problem

          "They said they wanted to end the Israeli REGIME - as in, put an end to a government that is itself a terrorist"

          Uhuh:

          "A new Middle East will prevail without the existence of Israel."

          August 4, 2006

          (as quoted by Malaysian news agency Bernama website)

          As an atheist I find most of the waffle is boring, but threats to wipe out Israel are indeed ... dramatic.

        3. Tom 13

          @raving angry loony

          It's not propaganda when the words come from the President of Iran himself in a speech to televised to his nation.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: Right, because...

        Agreed. It also merits noting that this kind of quotable material doesn't emanate from Israel:

        "The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world."

        "We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world."

        "By the grace of Allah, we (will be) a nuclear power."

        "Soon Islam will become the dominating force in the world, occupying first place in the number of followers amongst all other religions."

        I wonder how many homosexuals the Israelis will string up from a crane today, how many children forcibly prostituted they will hang today. Oh the savage cruelty of the Israeli terrorists:

        http://www.iranfocus.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1840

        http://www.gvnet.com/childprostitution/Iran.htm

        How *ignorant* we westerners are of the truth about the gentle rulers of Iran.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

    Iran today, ? tomorrow. Perhaps this is why Russia is moving to Linux. No MS/Apple, no backdoors.

  6. Richard Porter
    Grenade

    What you have to ask

    is why on Earth the Iranians were using Micro$oft Windows PCs to control their centrifuges?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @ What you have to ask

      They don't. Its merely a vector for transmission.

      You're either trolling or extremely ill-informed.

      1. Big-nosed Pengie
        FAIL

        What?

        They don't - it's merely a vector for transmission?

        Transmission to what?

        It's a Windows worm. That means it runs on Windows.

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          @Big-nosed Pengie

          A garage might plug a Windows laptop into your car to interrogate the engine management system. Does that mean Windows controls your car's engine every time you drive it?

          The centrifges are controlled by Siemens S7 controllers which run a proprietary operating system but are programmed using software called Step 7 that runs on Windows.

        2. Robert E A Harvey

          No

          Vultures passim.

          It's a plc-based virus, with a windows based delivery system exploiting the programming environment.

        3. Scorchio!!

          Re: What?

          Transmission to the AQ Khan designed centrifuges themselves, within which they become resident.

      2. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        @Craiggy

        Actually they are kind of controlling the centrifuges. The Siemens WinCC manages the PLC's that are actually controlling the centrifuges; the Stuxnet worm takes over WinCC and uses it to alter the Step7 code on the PLCs. Sneaky sabotage!

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