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Iran Says Siemens Helped US, Israel Build Stuxnet 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the fair-and-balanced dept.
CWmike writes "Iran's Brigadier General, Gholam Reza Jalali, accused Siemens on Saturday with helping US and Israeli teams craft the Stuxnet worm that attacked his country's nuclear facilities. 'Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemies with the information about the codes of the SCADA software and prepared the ground for a cyber attack against us,' Jalali told the Islamic Republic News Service. Siemens did not reply to a request for comment on Jalali's accusations. Stuxnet, which first came to light in June 2010 but hit Iranian targets in several waves starting the year before, has been extensively analyzed by security researchers. Symantec and Langner Communications say Stuxnet was designed to infiltrate Iran's nuclear enrichment program, hide in the Iranian SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) control systems that operate its plants, then force gas centrifuge motors to spin at unsafe speeds. Jalali suggested that Iranian officials would pursue Siemens in the courts, and claimed that Iranian researchers traced the attack to Israel and the US. He said information from infected systems was sent to computers in Texas."
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Iran Says Siemens Helped US, Israel Build Stuxnet

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  • Whose enemies? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mangu (126918) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:40PM (#35860038)

    FTA: "Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemies with the information about the codes of the SCADA software and prepared the ground for a cyber attack against us,"

    Define 'enemies', please. From the rest of the world's POV, Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemy with equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

    • Re:Whose enemies? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ae1294 (1547521) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:44PM (#35860086) Journal

      FTA: "Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemies with the information about the codes of the SCADA software and prepared the ground for a cyber attack against us,"

      Define 'enemies', please. From the rest of the world's POV, Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemy with equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

      Iran has as much right as the US does to make nuclear weapons.

      • Re:Whose enemies? (Score:5, Informative)

        by JBMcB (73720) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:56PM (#35860254)

        Iran has as much right as the US does to make nuclear weapons.

        Not according to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty they signed.

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          Iran has as much right as the US does to make nuclear weapons.

          Not according to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty they signed.

          Like the US hasn't ignored treaties they have signed....

          • by ae1294 (1547521)

            http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0607-01.htm [commondreams.org]

            The draft report, which exceeds 100 pages, deals with a range of legal issues related to interrogations, offering definitions of the degree of pain or psychological manipulation that could be considered lawful. But at its core is an exceptional argument that because nothing is more important than "obtaining intelligence vital to the protection of untold thousands of American citizens," normal strictures on torture might not apply

            In addition, the report advised that torture or homicide could be justified as "self-defense," should an official "honestly believe" it was necessary to head off an imminent attack on the U.S. The self-defense doctrine generally has been asserted by individuals fending off assaults, and in 1890, the Supreme Court upheld a U.S. deputy marshal's right to shoot an assailant of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field as involving both self-defense and defense of the nation. Citing Justice Department opinions, the report concluded that "if a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate criminal prohibition," he could be justified "in doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network."

            For members of the military, the report suggested that officials could escape torture convictions by arguing that they were following superior orders, since such orders "may be inferred to be lawful" and are "disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate." Examining the "superior orders" defense at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, the Vietnam War prosecution of U.S. Army Lt. William Calley for the My Lai massacre and the current U.N. war-crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the report concluded it could be asserted by "U.S. armed forces personnel engaged in exceptional interrogations except where the conduct goes so far as to be patently unlawful."

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Actually they do not since they signed those rights away when they signed the none proliferation treaty. And they are not making weapons just ask them.

      • Talking about "rights" in such matters doesnt seem to make much sense. Who defines what "rights" a country has? Certainly Iran is free to try to develop a nuclear program, but the rest of the world is free to try to prevent them-- Its a sure thing that once developed they will use them offensively.

        IMO youd have to be crazy not to want to discourage Iran from having nukes, whatever your opinion of Israel is-- unless you really do want to spur on WW3, that is.

      • by ae1294 (1547521)

        The US still has stock piles of chemical weapons as well... But they will get around to destroying them.. One day.

        http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/cbw/cw.htm [fas.org]

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Iran has as much right as the US does to make nuclear weapons.

        Is that a natural right? LOL.

    • by rbrausse (1319883)

      Define 'enemies', please. From the rest of the world's POV, Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemy with equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

      Define "rest of the world" please. Iran and many European countries were trading partners up until 200x.

    • by vxice (1690200) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:07PM (#35860358)
      "Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemy with equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons" citation please. According to numerous reports by the IAEA there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
      • by murdocj (543661)

        "Siemens should explain why and how it provided the enemy with equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons" citation please. According to numerous reports by the IAEA there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

        If only I had mod points for +1 Funny.

    • And if I take something you made and give it to someone else who wants to use it for a nefarious purpose, should you be held accountable for your actions as well? I haven't heard about any indications that Siemens sold these to Iran, whereas I have seen it reported over the last year that Iran procured these through illicit channels because they are under embargo for items such as these. Besides, if Siemens sold them to Iran, they wouldn't be helping the creators of Stuxnet. It's bad business to help others

    • by memnock (466995)

      Siemens is a company, not a country. While state politics probably play a part in business decisions, really they're most interested in who is going to pay them for something they sell or service. Through the eyes of "capitalists", perceived commercial needs of potential customers will lead the company's decision in what it sells to who. I'm not trying to judge that process, just pointing out that Siemens might not be quick to let one country's (or group of countries') rival status be a deterrent to doing b

  • Potential FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:43PM (#35860078) Homepage Journal

    I view everything which comes through government channels from Iran as Potential FUD. The rigged election, suppression of protests, detentions, disapperances, etc. of political opponents smells worse than when the Shah was running the country. For all we can tell they didn't really have a worm at all, but failed to read the owners manual properly.

    • Actual FUD (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by jekewa (751500)

      Fear-mongering is a tried-and-true motivator. Worked for Hitler. Worked for Stalin. Worked for Bush.

      Too many leaders, world and smaller-group, who can't motivate and bring their people up through their own efforts try to defer their failures by bringing the other guys down.

      Sadly, millions of people listen to their rantings, buy into their fear, and support their mongering.

      • Fear-mongering is a tried-and-true motivator. Worked for Hitler. Worked for Stalin. Worked for Bush

        Looks like you're trying to make it work for you too.

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          Fear-mongering is a tried-and-true motivator. Worked for Hitler. Worked for Stalin. Worked for Bush

          Looks like you're trying to make it work for you too.

          Whenever you hear leaders speak you should consider everything they say to be potential garbage - they have their motivations - whether astro-turfing the massacre of innocents or to elevate their own stars. Sometimes they are upfront and honest, while others it pays to have a critical mind (unless you want to remain happy, because ignorance is bliss - until it's you being rounded up, that is.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by jekewa (751500)

          Not at all. Each of those guys was an arguably fine leader, until they went off.

          Hitler pulled the Germans out of the depression returning Germany to a prosperous state, even bringing the world the Volkswagen. Then he went nuts and invaded most of Europe, and slaughtered millions of people because he didn't feel they fit his weird mold of what a person should be. It was (in part) this fear-mongering that brought out a hatred of the gypsies, gays, Jews, and frankly any non-Arian that he used to really ramp up

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Maybe like a dozen VWs rolled off the line before they were converted entirely to wartime production. Hitler did get his, though.

  • by darien.train (1752510) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:43PM (#35860082) Journal
    People send all sorts of crazy data to Texas all the time. I believe they publish it in their schoolbooks.
  • He said information from infected systems was sent to computers in Texas.

    Anyone else get an image of an SNL-esque GWB cackling in front of his computer as his screen lights up with ill-gotten Iranian data?

    Wrong in so many ways.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MrEricSir (398214)

      Wrong in so many ways.

      Especially the part where GWB knows how to operate a computer.

  • by Taelron (1046946) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:51PM (#35860190)
    So let me get this right, they spent all this time and money to design, develope, and deploy this software. To conceal it and hide its presence, but you now want us to believe that they simply configured it to send data to an IP in Texas? If the stuxnet really did phone home with information, the developers would have programmed it to send to relays in other parts of the world to further hide its origin. If it DID send data to a Texas IP, I'd think any logical thinking person would realize its someone else trying to cast blame on the US... More FUD from Iran...
    • See, that's exactly what they want you to think. They know you will think that way, therefore, they did it so you wouldn't think that it's them. Of course, you know that they know what you will think that way, so you know not to believe it, and therefore, it is them. Then again......
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Yes it is the old they are so brilliant but made one stupid error trick that is so popular on TV shows and bad spy novels. In Texas it was sent to the one eye man stroking the his pet armadillo that has a laser mounted on his head.
      And it was both the US and Israel at fault.
      What they don't know is that it was Canada, Sweden, and Ireland that pulled this off.

  • Something tells me if Iran wants to put on a show trial for Seimens in the IRanian courts, it'll just result in Seimens exiting from IRan and they will no longer be able to purchase any new or replacement hardware, should they need it.

  • What the hell does Siemens have to do with the code running in their SCADA systems? Siemens sells PLCs and SCADA software. YOU hire someone to program it for you. At no point in the transaction does Siemens have a copy of your code or architecture unless you GIVE it to them... dumbass.

    • I'm sure that Siemens, like Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Allen Bradley, etc., employ programmers, electricians and project managers who integrate control systems of varying scale.
    • by plover (150551) *

      What the hell does Siemens have to do with the code running in their SCADA systems? Siemens sells PLCs and SCADA software. YOU hire someone to program it for you. At no point in the transaction does Siemens have a copy of your code or architecture unless you GIVE it to them... dumbass.

      Because a significant part of the stuxnet hack was to modify their SCADA programming environment so that it would embed the malicious payload in the SCADA instructions without revealing its existence to the SCADA programmers. Coincidentally, the Department of Homeland Security had supposedly just finished "reviewing the Siemens source code for security flaws". Could there be collusion? Sure. The bigger question is if anyone will care if Iran tries to sue them? Doubt it. It's not like Siemens execs are

  • by darien.train (1752510) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:59PM (#35860286) Journal
    Not sure what google adverts the rest of you are seeing on this story but mine are hilarious. http://i.imgur.com/U6jCz.png [imgur.com] This is why I don't turn it off (as well as supporting /. ad revenues).
    • by game kid (805301)
      Yeah, I'd totally evaluate my dongle with that "Persian Princess".
      • by mangu (126918)

        Yeah, I'd totally evaluate my dongle with that "Persian Princess".

        Me too. I would take her to a weekend in the King Solomon Hotel in Israel.

      • Do your illegal malware-infected centrifuges got you down?

        Meet a new sexy friend on IranianPersonals.com while you take a load off in one of your mortal enemy's best hotels! While you're there you can get a new and improved Siemens SmartSCADA system for next to nothing! You can even reinfect it again with all-new driverless USB thumb drives!

  • I wish it weren't so believable. Unfortunately the United States government (at the least) has become more adept at spinning its bad behavior to sound good rather than becoming adept at actual good behavior. So much for principles....

    • How do you tell if a politician is lying, his lips are moving. It is impossible to know the answer on this one, because no matter what the truth is the result is the same, The US would deny it whether it is true or if it is a lie, and Iran would blame the US whether the evidence points to it or not, and if Iran found no evidence they would lie and said they did. There is no one that would have access to the evidence on either side that would be both trustworthy and able to admit who he is without his life b
      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Bingo. Yes, the knowledge to do Stuxnet isn't exactly stuff you find on the street, it wouldn't be hard for a blackhat organization to obtain this information. This could be a group of people who didn't like Iran, the US, or Israel to do something like this, just for kicks, or like the Joker, "to watch the world burn."

        What one has to do is figure out likelihoods. Unlike most things, it is possible to fake an attack and have it look like it came from a completely different source.

  • making crap up? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raist21 (68156) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:05PM (#35860342)

    Perhaps I'm wrong on this, but I was under the impression that the controller's were part of a closed network, hence the reason for sneaking the stuxnet virus in via USB. Why on earth would it be trying to report back to anywhere?
    Either, I have my facts wrong, or somebody is just making crap up to point a finger.

  • Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ALeavitt (636946) <aleavitt&gmail,com> on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:13PM (#35860434)
    While I can not speak on the behalf of anybody else, as a member of the civilized world allow me to just say thank you Siemens, Mossad, the Pentagon, and anybody else who may have been involved in keeping the world safe by keeping nuclear arms out of the hands of genocidal dictators and oppressive theocracies.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by keeboo (724305)

      (...)the Pentagon(...)
      have been involved in keeping the world safe by keeping nuclear arms out of the hands of genocidal dictators and oppressive theocracies

      You mean the military guys from the USA?
      The same self-serving country which promoted oppressive right-wing dictatorships in Latin America because of US' fear of Communism?

      Yeah, nice kind-hearted guys indeed, they really work hard to make the World a better place.

  • by Is0m0rph (819726)
    Rockwell Automation's CEO just saw dollar signs flash before his eyes. Iran should have paid the extra money and went with RA PLCs not that Siemens crap.
  • I went to the gun store and told them I wanted to buy some ammo so I could kill all their employees. They sold me blanks, I'm totally going to sue.

    -Iran
  • While astonished that an Iranian spokesman used the word "Israel" instead of some clever euphemism [kuna.net.kw], I'm even more astonished that they are going to court.
    I'm sure Siemens and the United States and Israel will be devastated by this outcome and will rush to settle. Never fight an angry warthog in court. [bbc.co.uk]

    Truly this is horrible. This will definitely sour the relations between the parties. What with the whole hostage thingie [wikipedia.org], the desire to wipe Israel off the face of the map [nytimes.com], nuclear weaponry ambition [cfr.org]. L

  • You could have known about this three months ago [slashdot.org].

  • Get a Grip (Score:2, Interesting)

    Hey, Iran, get a grip! You're throwing accusations all over the place without anything to back them up. Yeah you lied totally about your nuclear intentions and yeah someone pretty darn good gave you a good screwing over these last couple of years for it. Consider that this alternative was probably why bombs haven't been falling out of the skies on you yet. But your habit of blaming everything on The Great Satan and The Little Satan was old decades ago. Everything bad that happens to you is never your fault.

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens

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