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Was Russia Behind Stuxnet? 281

Posted by Soulskill
from the from-russia-with-root dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite the U.S. and Israel being widely assumed to be responsible for Stuxnet, Russia is the more likely culprit, says U.S. Air Force cyber analyst. The nuclear gangsterism of the past 20 years gives it plenty of motive. Quoting: 'So what better way to maintain Russian interests, and innocence, than to plant a worm with digital U.S.-Israeli fingerprints? After all, Russian scientists and engineers are familiar with the cascading centrifuges whose numbers and configuration – and Siemen’s SCADA PLC controller schematics – they have full access to by virtue of designing the plants. ... the observers of the virus could alert the Iranians before full nuclear catastrophe struck. The Belarusian computer security experts who 'discovered' the code seemingly played that role well. They didn't seem too preoccupied with reverse engineering the malicious code to see what it was designed to do.'"
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Was Russia Behind Stuxnet?

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  • by MrQuacker (1938262) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:30AM (#38333044)

    Well, the centrifuge itself doesnt. But if it somehow infects a critical PLC, like say the one that controls reactor rods, or ventilation, or whatever.

    Point being, something other than centrifuges could get infected, and that something could be bad.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:45AM (#38333604)
    It is. For a start, the centrifuges aren't full of uranium. They are full of uranium hexafluoride, a gas. No possibility of it going critical. The worst case scenario would be that containment is ruptured and the gas escapes - it's nasty stuff, about a ten on the flesh-melt-o-meter, and will quite happily burn though walls and boil the skin off of anyone who gets in it's way. If that happens it'll kill a few workers and completly destroy the centrifuge, but that's all. No boom.
  • Re:I live in Russia (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:49AM (#38333618) Journal

    Having said that a lot of people think Iran wont nuke Israel because that'd kill arabs too

    Iran couldn't care less about what happens to the Arabs. Iranians are different ethnically, culturally and religiously (Shia vs Sunni), and there's no love lost between the two. Indeed, it is debatable whether Israel is really Iran's enemy #1 (other than in propaganda), or whether their neighboring Sunni majority countries are that.

  • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @08:21AM (#38333970) Homepage Journal

    Sorry if I am wrong here, but are you not just producing wild theories here? Surely you don't know what Stuxnet intended to do, so how could you rule that it could not have caused a nuclear catastrophe?

    There was an analysis by German researchers that he bases his information on.
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/07/how-digital-detectives-deciphered-stuxnet/all/1 [wired.com]
    http://www.ted.com/talks/ralph_langner_cracking_stuxnet_a_21st_century_cyberweapon.html [ted.com]

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @09:06AM (#38334140) Journal

    its short for 'catastrophe bonds'. hedge funds buy and sell them so they can get rich when there is a hurricane, tornado, or 9/11 style event. people will absolutely profit from this war.

    secondly, the stock markets do not crash during wars. they crash when investors realize theyve been being scammed and duped by fraud for years on end by 'financial professionals'. (1929, 1987, 2008).

    thirdly, the bond markets go apeshit during war. governments love LOVE LOVE to borrow money during war. that means bonds. bonds out the ass.

    fourthly, we now have these things called 'credit default swaps', which are essentially gambling on the bond market. they will go super triple-dog ape shit when there is a war with iran, and the investment banks that hold them like JP Morgan, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Paribas, etc etc etc, will make tons of money.

    and since JP Morgan is feeding intelligence to the US government (if you dont believe me, do a search for 'jp morgan' in the wikileaks files) they have even more of an inside edge.

    and i wont even get into 'mortality swaps' and 'longevity swaps'.

  • by nbauman (624611) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:50PM (#38336760) Homepage Journal

    According to Juan Cole, whom I trust on Middle eastern affairs, there is no phrase in Farsi that translates to "wipe off the map."

    What else could it mean?

    Democratic elections.

  • by donscarletti (569232) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @04:36PM (#38337444)
    What I said was completely correct, it can not go critical nor can it level a city block. The specific term for a block levelling reaction is I believe is "high yield prompt criticality excursion", which sounds terrible and didn't need to be said. Criticality is something achieved in nuclear reactors and nuclear bombs, it is not achieved in centrifuges, even when they fail, thus there is no energy release beyond the normal energy released by nuclear decay. Furthermore, that plant you live near does not blow up precisely because it is designed not to, with moderators and coolants. Should its fuel rods be stacked together outside by some guy who wants to make a fort, the situation would be quite different (though 5% enriched really doesn't have much ability to actually blow up).

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