back to article NSA eggheads tried to bork Nork nukes with Stuxnet. It failed – report

The NSA tried to wreck North Korea's nuclear weapons lab using the centrifuge-knackering malware Stuxnet, and ultimately failed, multiple intelligence sources claim. US spies developed Stuxnet with the Israelis to attack and break Iran's nuke-fuel equipment from the mid to late 2000s. The software nasty was tweaked to thwart …

  1. asdf Silver badge

    Let me see

    So the moral of the story is the NSA is completely jealous of the tyranny of the population by North Korean government?

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: Let me see

      Spook nirvana North Korea, secure and controlled access to everything. It appears to be the model the Australian grubyment is leaning towards. Unfortunately the parasitical public sector rarely seem to see the link between funding for their paranoia and delusions, a successful private sector and the free exchange of ideas. North Korea, no USB keys and nothing to eat. Australia, total mandatory surveillance and coal is the future - yum.

  2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Big Brother

    USB Sticks do exist in NORK

    They are used to smuggle news and videos in from abroad to be viewed on portable DVD/SD/USB players. I'd guess that the temptation to sneak a USB stick (infected or otherwise) into a nuclear or military facility is mitigated by the penalties that would result.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: USB Sticks do exist in NORK

      Probably a choice on the punishment... death by anti-aircraft gun or death by hungry dogs... or something else we may not have heard about.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: USB Sticks do exist in NORK

        Death sentences seem to be carried out with whatever is to hand at the time.

        Death by centrifuge?

      2. emmanuel goldstein

        Re: USB Sticks do exist in NORK

        the "death by dogs" story is a myth. don't believe everything you read in the "Daily Mail".

  3. Grandpa Tom

    NORK computers all run CP/M

    The bug on the USB stick wouldn't work because all the machines there are still running ancient CP/M.

    :-)

  4. Pronounce

    Sony First, Nukes Second

    According to the Sony hack reports by the FBI the NSA knew it was NK, because the NSA was on their serves and watched them do it.

    OK, and so why didn't they stop the nuke program at that time?

    I guess the Gov's media buddies come first and the devastation of a free society isn't quite as important.

    1. James 100

      Re: Sony First, Nukes Second

      Different servers? Of course the nodes attacking Sony had to be online (and so vulnerable to attack themselves, to some extent), but those involved in the nuclear program could be fully airgapped, but with a better gap than Iran's had. Not to mention that FBI/NSA "access" may just have consisted of monitoring their external Internet traffic - so they could see "Norks are probing 100.64.12.34 ... uh-oh, they got in, whose is that?" but not necessarily had any control over in-country systems from that.

      My ISP could see if I'm off breaking into Sony - it doesn't mean they can to anything to interfere with my printer, even though it is on the LAN that connects to them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh...

    The US isn't taking this "how do we start WW3?" seriously yet, is it.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Sigh...

      >The US isn't taking this "how do we start WW3?" seriously yet, is it.

      Yeah I mean they keep playing cold war like games with China over a bunch of islands made of poop ala Waterworld.

  6. Daniel B.
    Boffin

    Security by Ludditeness

    Now that's a new one. By keeping your population in the Stone Age, the only reason to carry a USB stick is to smuggle either malware or contraband.

    I'm... not sure I'd like to live somewhere like that at all.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Devil

    And for Kim's next trick.

    An Adama Drop (apparently also called a Husker Hailmary) on Washington D.C.

    Just after the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act expires and the F.R.E.E.D.O.M. act does not get the required number of votes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: And for Kim's next trick.

      Thank for that wonderful reminder of the Husker Hailmary.

  8. DanielR

    Meanwhile they keep getting infiltrated with malware by china and getting their military secrets stolen. The latest was at a university no doubt chinese spies. they need to do a better job isolating machines on a LAN to prevent the bloody thing gaining access further up the chain. Or stop using windows for starters.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly NSA!

    The Norks 235U efforts are secondary to what they are struggling to accomplish with plutonium. Yes, their first test was a fizzle, but where there are dogs and anti-aircraft guns, there is a way. It is all but a certainty that they have determined what went wrong with their first test. That is what testing is for, after all.

  10. dan1980

    Just goes to show that physical security is still the best defence and that meat is still most systems' biggest vulnerability.

  11. RainForestGuppy
    Joke

    North Korean Launch codes

    Well I succeeded where the NSA failed. I found the NSA launch codes and instructions, and I'm going to post them here:-

    1.) Light Blue touch paper

    2.) Retire to a safe distance

    3.) DO NOT GO BACK to a nuke even if the fuse has gone out.

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