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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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:18AM (#38333012)

    Let's all trust the U.S. propaganda machine. It was the Russians.

    • by arglebargle_xiv (2212710) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:49AM (#38333268)

      Let's all trust the U.S. propaganda machine. It was the Russians.

      Damn straight it was the Russians! It's all part of the Russian infiltration, Russian indoctrination, Russian subversion and the international Russian conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. Stuxnet is without a doubt the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Russian plot we have ever had to face.

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        No, that's actually me.

        Or at least claiming that it's me would be less stupid than accusing Russia in sabotaging Iran, its relatively benign (as far as they are concerned) neighbor just to worsen its relationship with US and Israel, countries whose relationships with Iran is already worst possible that could happen without being at war.

    • Besides didn't some Israeli general upon retirement say something to the effect of "LOL I helped kick some ass with Stux didn't I?". The whole thing smelt like Mossad to me. Frankly I honestly don't blame the Iranians for wanting the bomb as pretty much everyone in that region that hasn't kissed US bankster ass or have a bomb has been stomped on, they have the US Navy practically sitting off their coast and US drones buzzing overhead.

      As has been said many times its not paranoia if they really are out to get you and the Neocons made it clear years ago that Iran was on their hit lists. If Iran says something like "We won't accept dollars for oil, only gold" like old MoMo did they'd probably be invaded before the year was out. pretty much the only way to not get stomped on by the US military anymore is to have the bomb. Kinda sad, but that's reality, the MSM is happy to dance to any tune their masters tell them to and its too easy to get the average citizen to believe anything the TV tells them to, just look at that poll where 40%+ thought we went into Iraq over 9/11.

      Iran knows the clock is ticking and if they don't have the bomb some neocon is gonna come into power and squash them like a bug, if for no other reason than they don't get along with Israel and too many neocons are of the "Jesus won't come back if there aren't Jews in Zion! Come back Jesus come back!" variety. i don't know what is scarier, the Mullahs wanting a bomb or the fact that one of the most highly weaponized countries in the west have a large power base that believes the ME policy should be based on 1800 year old words written on a sheep's ass by goat herders about some 2000+ year old dead guy and how he needs a certain race in a certain place so he has a spot to park his fluffy white cloud.

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @05:41AM (#38333582)
        I'd almost trust Iran with the bomb right now - the current regime seems to know well enough that you don't initiate MAD, or else they'd have done so with conventional military already. But governments change, espicially in dictatorships like Iran - it only takes one fanatic who believes Allah will grant victory and that bomb is in the next shipping container addressed to New York. Don't even need an ICBM.
        • by swb (14022) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @10:01AM (#38334870)

          It all kind of depends on how rationally the mullahs operate.

          I'm pretty sure that the concept has been communicated to the Iranians, either semi-directly through back channels or through other third parties that any use of a nuclear weapon against the US or its "close allies" will result in overwhelming nuclear retaliation, the kind that might cause one to question the future of Persian culture centered around Iranian geography.

          It's long been rumored that the Israelis have indirectly communicated that any NBC attack will result in nuclear retaliation against all Arab capitals and major Islamic religious sites, allowing for a certain group restraint among Arab countries not wishing to see their capital vaporized should a neighbor's anti-Israeli action get too heated.

          And don't think for a second that the Soviets or the Chinese would say a word -- poking a stick at the US via Iran is valuable to the Soviets and the Chinese, but it's not worth trading nuclear strikes with the US.

          One would think that Iranian leaders would take this into account when doing the calculus on nuclear weapons. Are they even worth having, outside of defensive use within their own immediate political theater? Would the cost of development be better spent on something else -- a home-grown cruise missile, long-range missile, some other expenditure?

          That being said, the mullahs may not be rational -- they may be given to magical thinking and have some kind of literal belief in religion that might cause them to not care. We've certainly seen enough rank-and-file religious nuts blow themselves up.

          • by Reziac (43301) *

            According to someone I know who lived in Egypt and Saudi Arabia... the leaders do indeed indulge in 'magical thinking' of the sort where "if we have what Western Country A has, we too will be a [insert desired status here]."

            This is why Egypt built the Aswan dam, to the complete (and accurately predicted) detriment of their farmland and fisheries. Egypt used to feed half of Europe; now it has to import most of its own food, and the dam is almost entirely to blame (because it destroyed the critical farmland a

      • by evanism (600676)

        That was an awesome rant!

      • by Lord Duran (834815) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:21AM (#38333758)

        Your rant is pure demagoguery.

        What you seem to disregard is that Iran is now ruled exclusively by a religious leader [wikipedia.org], and that his dog Ahmadinejad doesn't just not get along with Israel, but calls out for the destruction of Israel pretty much any time there's an open microphone nearby. He does so even though Israel has never done anything bad to Iran and the two countries even had strong military relations prior to 1979.

        You also forget that Iran spends millions of oil dollars every year funding terrorist organizations whose sole purpose is to harm and kill American and Israeli civilians.

        What your last paragraph is basically saying is that it's OK for Iran to destroy Israel (even if we assume that they could), because Christianity is false. Even if Christianity is false, nobody has the right to destroy another country the way Iran wants to destroy Israel.

        • by Pax681 (1002592)

          Your rant is pure demagoguery.

          What you seem to disregard is that Iran is now ruled exclusively by a religious leader [wikipedia.org], and that his dog Ahmadinejad doesn't just not get along with Israel, but calls out for the destruction of Israel pretty much any time there's an open microphone nearby. He does so even though Israel has never done anything bad to Iran and the two countries even had strong military relations prior to 1979.

          maybe because pre 1979 Iran had the Shah who was put in business by the CIA and MI6 and thus Israel would be happier with what was perceived "western puppet govt"

          In 1941, Reza Shah was deposed and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was installed by an invasion of allied British and Soviet troops. In 1953, foreign powers (American and British) again came to the Shah's aid—after the Shah fled the country, the British MI6 aided an American CIA operative in organizing a military coup d'état to oust the nationalist and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

        • by andydread (758754) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @09:27AM (#38334640)

          Your rant is pure demagoguery.

          What you seem to disregard is that Iran is now ruled exclusively by a religious leader [wikipedia.org], and that his dog Ahmadinejad doesn't just not get along with Israel, but calls out for the destruction of Israel pretty much any time there's an open microphone nearby. He does so even though Israel has never done anything bad to Iran and the two countries even had strong military relations prior to 1979.

          You also forget that Iran spends millions of oil dollars every year funding terrorist organizations whose sole purpose is to harm and kill American and Israeli civilians.

          What your last paragraph is basically saying is that it's OK for Iran to destroy Israel (even if we assume that they could), because Christianity is false. Even if Christianity is false, nobody has the right to destroy another country the way Iran wants to destroy Israel.

          First of all there is a BIG difference between stating that "Israel should not exist" and "We are going to destroy Israel." You swallowing the Israeli propaganda talking points hook line as sinker and regurgitating them is not going to convince any reason minded individual here. And how many times has the US and Israel threatned to attack them? Double standards much? Secondly. What's the difference between terrorizing other countries with stuxnet, infiltration and bombing or killing scientists, by a country or supporting a third party (insert terrorist org here) to do you bidding. If I send a CIA agent to infiltrate and blow up an arms depot or if I pay someone else to do it for me? What's the difference? What about the iran contra? Wasn't that a terrorist organization? Did we not support that organization? Why such hypocrisy? Its OK for us to support terrorist organization but no one else should right? And then there is this [telegraph.co.uk]

        • To be fair, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not call for the destruction of Israel, or for it to be wiped off the map. Rather, he stated that it was time for the Zionist government of Israel to be wiped off the mapâ"in short, he called for regime change in Israel. I'm no fan of this guy, but everyone claiming that he wants another Holocaust is just stoking the propaganda fires against Iran. That's worse than the demagoguery that so offends you.

          The grandparent post did not suggest that Iran can wipe Israel off

        • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @11:23AM (#38335474)

          Ahmadinejad doesn't just not get along with Israel, but calls out for the destruction of Israel pretty much any time there's an open microphone nearby

          You're aware this was a (I assume deliberate) mistranslation of what was actually said? Google "Iranian mistranslation". It is however convenient for those who want war to repeat the propaganda.

          He does so even though Israel has never done anything bad to Iran

          You have evidence there have been no covert attacks? Your sources are clearly better than most. There are strange explosions happening in Iran at strategic sites. You think they are accidents? Who is the most likely culprit? Who is the most likely culprit for stuxnet?

          You also forget that Iran spends millions of oil dollars every year funding terrorist organizations whose sole purpose is to harm and kill American and Israeli civilians.

          Perhaps they see themselves as freedom fighters.

          You are looking for simple black and white, good and evil; like the movies, and the people who's agenda that serves will be more than happy to serve it up to you on a platter. You should just go back to staring slack jawed at the TV and let your superiors get on with whatever it is they want to do. The very last thing you should ever do is question what you are told.

      • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:55AM (#38333886)

        http://crudeoilpeak.info/iran-crude-oil-decline-to-2016 [crudeoilpeak.info]

        They'll be able to continue exporting for a few years, 5-10. Then their internal consumption hits production and starts declining. This is when the shtf and people start dying.

        So... What choices do they have? Given the history of the external manipulation of their country they appear quite rational.

      • We can indeed look at whom stuxnet benefited and bet on a country. Unless it's a deception to hurt that same country, all right.

        What the US Government CAN'T do is saying it was LIKELY the russians.
        Either you know name and surname of the hackers, or you don't know anything because russia is a few network hops from anywhere in the world. And even if you had every single packet traced, you dunno if the guy posting from a hacked wifi spot is a russian a chinese, the chief of the secret service of your own count

    • Citizen! It's always the Commie Mutant Traitors!
    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:50AM (#38333880) Journal
      Any conspiracy theory about stuxxnet has to explain this fact : http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=10596 [net-security.org]

      An Israelian general claims to have worked on Stuxxnet.
  • by douglips (513461) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:23AM (#38333022) Homepage Journal

    Centrifuges can't cause a catastrophe, other than of the "oh shit my centrifuge just came apart and shredded my lab" kind. There is not a nuclear chain reaction to go out of control here.

    • by MrQuacker (1938262) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:30AM (#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.

      • I don't know. This seemed like a pretty specifically targeted piece of hardware.

        Dumbing it down a whole bunch here, but say that the virus modifies the CENTRIFUGE_MAX_SPEED variable from X to X+100 or something. It's affecting a specific piece of software. It's not as if the ventilation or reactor rod system run on the same software, and even if they did it would be doubtful that they would be affected by the same command.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        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.

        When it comes to industrial plants one things that is becoming more and more common are completely independent shutdown systems. The SCRAM system for Nuclear reactors is one such system, and is one of the first ones that was well speced and required by regulators. You'll find many refineries without such systems, but you won't find a Nuclear reactor.

        The bottom line is that these things sit separately and monitor the plant. Sure you can go in, push buttons, start stretching the operating envelope from the PL

      • That really glosses over the importance of the centrifuges. They are massive, expensive machines to replace, and they directly handle the material. If failure occurred during operation (which was exactly what Stuxnet was designed to do), then on top of losing the machines, the nuclear material itself would be lost. The centrifuges are a critical part of the entire program, and their loss set Iran back years. It's unlikely that "full nuclear catastrophe" was ever a plan, given Stuxnet's precise design.

    • by FrozenFood (2515360) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:48AM (#38333110)
      its entirely possible to run an entire nuclear power plant from the control rod insertion to button that opens the front gate off a single Siemens PLC, e.g. their S7-400 with a big CPU. off the CPU comes Profibus which can go directly to input sensors, pnumatic valves, HMIs. The profibus is quite a safe thing, becasue it is just RS485 underneath. The new thing that siemens is touting is profiNET, which as the name implies is just the profibus protocol over ethernet. with control systems running off ethernet is fine, but siemens also do DIN mount 100mb/s ethernet switches where anyone can plug a laptop in and stop/start/upload more code to the entire network with their prodave application.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2011 @04:25AM (#38333362)

        Except that's not how you do it. If your PLC is controlling vital equipment you A) use a password . B) Have the PLC set so that online (means when the PLC is running) program changes are not allowed and C) run redundant PLCs so if there is ever a switch of code in one of them (by a worm etc.) that PLC is locked out and measures taken. However when controlling a Centrifuge one probably wouldn't use redundant PLCs. When it comes to profibus vs. Profinet I would say that the fieldbus has very little to do with security. Most modern PLCs have an ethernet connection for talking to higher level systems anyways no matter which bus you use at the field level. Also anyone WHO can write a virus for a PLC is capable of buying one of the many different devices for connecting to a Profibus or MPI port of a Siemens PLC. /Industrial-programmer (not in nuclear area)

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        its entirely possible to run an entire nuclear power plant from the control rod insertion to button that opens the front gate off a single Siemens PLC

        Sure it is. If you want to run afoul of every government regulation world wide regarding the control of nuclear reactors. Given how much government interest is being taken in reactors recently I doubt anyone is stupid enough to even attempt something like you're suggesting.

    • Well, if your idea of "catastrophe" is becoming critical and levelling a city block, then you are absolutely correct, an enrichment centrifuge cannot do that. However, that centrifuge is filled with uranium hexafluoride, which is a horrible corrosive gas that can burn through metal and will kill you if you touch or ingest it in the tiniest quantities, then I can think of quite a lot of catastrophic things that can happen, especially in a confined space with thousands of workers.
      • by kestasjk (933987) *
        Thousands of workers monitoring a centrifuge cascade?
        • by Zoshnell (573838)
          As long as one of them isn't Gordon Freeman, a cascade event isn't likely to occur...
      • how could running an experiment that simulated an 'emergency shutdown' possibly lead to a criticality accident? no, that would never happen.

    • may i recommend the following article, for a nice list of dead people who thought "this could never happen in a million years"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticality_accident [wikipedia.org]

  • by BLToday (1777712) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:27AM (#38333032)

    That's the only logical explanation.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Governments would be wise to focus on securing the code they use rather than attacking the enemy. We already have attack capabilities and adding hack capabilities may not be nearly as valuable to nations with significant resources. On the technical front though ANY tiny nation or group with even few resources can threaten you if your code is bug ridden.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Acapulco (1289274) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:38AM (#38333074)

    Beyond the obvious fact that we will never know for sure who actually created it, it seems pretty naive to think a US 'cyber analyst' would say or even think anything different. After all Israel is a close US ally so it isn't like they would be interested in "telling the truth". It's like the boy who punches the other boy behind the teacher's back, of course he is not going to rat itself.

    So how is this a credible source? Maybe if it came from a team of international security researchers with evidence or something I would deem it a valuable piece of analysis.

    I kinda see this "research" as the ones conducted by Microsoft to evaluate IE, or Google to do so with Chrome and, oh surprise, they always come ahead. More like a political thing to say than any actual useful information or analysis being brought to light.

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Well only if you assume that US citizens are incapable of talking bad about the US.

      Considering Slashdot is slight more anti-American than the Taliban that's obviously not true.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MimeticLie (1866406) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:58AM (#38333130)
        Except that this guy is a US Air Force analyst.

        So it's not a case of assuming a US citizen couldn't speak ill of the US; more a case of assuming that if the military is paying him to say this, it wants this version of events propagated (note that the piece doesn't provide any evidence pointing to the Russians. His argument is basically, "Well, they could have. And if we make a bunch of assumptions, they might have wanted to as well".).
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Archtech (159117) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @07:37AM (#38334020)

        Considering Slashdot is slight more anti-American than the Taliban that's obviously not true.

        Sorry, but I won't sit still for that. As a European who has always tried very hard to be cosmopolitan - a citizen of the world, and a member of the human race, rather than any kind of nationalist - I find that Slashdot is quite sophisticated technically, a bit less so politically, and actually exhibits a quite noticeable pro-American bias.

        Of course there are exceptions: I'm one of them. And there are a few people who blame everything on America. But what I'm saying is that, even among apparently sensible, well-educated, reasonable Slashdotters I find that, on average, there is a slight but very definite US "home team advantage". And that is quite natural, seeing how many Slashdotters are American; there's nothing wrong with patriotism and pride in your country.

  • I live in Russia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:43AM (#38333088)

    And it's unlikely the government could be bothered with this elaborate conspiracy, the modus operandi seems to be to take Iranian money and just never finish the projects since off the record Russia doesn't really like Iran anymore than anybody else does. Probably what really happened is that USA or Israel tracked down some Russians working on the project and gave them some giant piles of money in order to do plant some virus they'd made. After this went through a lot of Russian scientists got scared because Iran was interrogating everyone to try and find out who was responsible.

    Having said that a lot of people think Iran wont nuke Israel because that'd kill arabs too, or that they're not insane or that USA/Russia has nukes too so it's no different. The main difference is someone like Putin is primarily interested in being a crime boss, he has no inherent desire to wipe some places he doesn't like such as Washington DC off the map. Iran on the other hand does when not slaughtering their own people does foreign policy things that don't really make sense like bombing some Jews in Argentina which had no practical benefit for Iran. They're rather juvenile as can be seen by the way they make their cute little American flag with skulls instead of stars last week. I think it's more likely they'd try to detonate a bomb through the Lebanese border to make things look more ambiguous than launch a traceable missile from Tehran. Yes that'd kill a lot of muslims too, but so did their chaining soldiers together and forcing them to march into gas attacks strategies during the war with Iraq.

    • by bytesex (112972)

      They're being 'juvenile' because they're playing for their own crowd. Iran's leaders are sitting on a time-bomb of youngsters that don't like 'em very much either. By inventing plots they try to keep 'em still.

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        sitting on a time-bomb of youngsters

        No.
        College students just happen to be a group that in any society is most vulnerable to ideologies that are unpopular in the rest of society, as they still have remnants of teenage rebellion and fad-following, are smart enough to accomplish something as a group, but don't yet have sufficient skepticism to reject crude propaganda. This is why any "revolution" that was entirely based on student organizations is most likely orchestrated by foreign enemies or organized crime, and governments should be always pr

    • Re:I live in Russia (Score:5, Informative)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @05:49AM (#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 Alex Belits (437) *

      I live in Russia

      No, you don't.

  • Occam's Razor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3msoceht>> on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:47AM (#38333106)
    No.
    • I don't know, I've thought something similar before. If you consider, who else would have such specific knowledge of the Iranian setup? The Russians would have the easiest job of building Stuxnet. Some of the exploits used were bought from the Eastern European black market. What particular reason is there to think that the US or Israel did it?
      • Re:Occam's Razor (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mr100percent (57156) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:03AM (#38333138) Homepage Journal

        Well, the NYTimes reports proof that it was tested in Israel [nytimes.com], which makes Russia unlikely.

        • That is the problem with conspiracy theories, once you start believing in them, you can't stop believing in them. Why believe one piece of "evidence" over another? To many conspiracy theorists are just haters who hate their own country and believe nothing it says and believe everything the other side says without question.

          See the drivel posted by AHuxley below. Russia doesn't like Iran, it has been fighting Muslims for decades. Sure, it might be smiling at the US problems in Afghanistan but that doesn't mea

          • by vakuona (788200)

            No one sells tech they can't defeat. That would be stupid. America won't sell its latest and greatest to Israeli's even (the F22). Or to Japan, South Korea, or Britain, who are some of its hardcore alies.

        • there was a huge migration of Jewish people and other people out of Russia to Israel after the fall of most european communism, and the Soviet government was no longer around to prevent people from leaving it's constituent countries.

          if you read enough spy history you will realize that every country has agents penetrated into every other country's intelligence service. Sometimes they are double, sometimes even triple agents. it can take decades for the truth to ever come out.

          There was a Czech agent, for exam

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Occam's Razor Part II: The Razoring

        What do you think is more likely - that the Russian government deliberately disabled Iran, or that the American or Israeli government bought (or otherwise acquired) insider knowledge from Russia?

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Russia sells products and services around the world. Why would they stuff up a project they got paid for and what to get done?
          Every project Russia brings in on time, on budget ect. is a great showcase to the world - to buy more nation building Russian or Russian related tech.
          Its very simple, you pay Russia, big product arrives and works.
          Stuxnet seems to be very well tested by people with a deep understanding of a subset of German hardware and very closed US software with the desire to create many proble
      • What particular reason is there to think that the US or Israel did it?

        Because they have a very obvious motive for doing so?

    • by black3d (1648913)

      Occam's Razor suggests someone who has access to the internals network and workings of the plant, and in fact built it, is far more able to write code to attack the network than a third party unfamiliar with their systems. So.. if we're going to strictly apply the rule, then YES.

      • Re:Occam's Razor (Score:5, Insightful)

        by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:55AM (#38333284)
        No, Occam's Razor suggests that the obvious enemies of Iran are the obvious culprits, namely US/Israel.

        Inventing fairytales about Russian double indirection to damage America is way too complicated, and believing an American intelligence analyst about the fairytale existence of a double indirection by Russia just to attack America's reputation (ie not even a real attack) is even more complicated.

        KISS.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      The code was too sloppy to be Russian.

    • by decora (1710862) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @07:38AM (#38334024) Journal

      the FOIA sites at fbi.gov and cia.gov are full of bizarre, unbeilevable stuff.

      is it likely that the US military deliberately administered LSD to people to see if it would be a good mind control drug, and that one of them leaped out of a window and died? no, but it happened.

      is it likely that the Nazi government was thoroughly penetrated with Soviet agents? no, but it was.

      is it likely that Israel and it's neighbors would go to war in 1967? No, but they did.

      is it likely that Israel would repeatedly shoot and napalm a ship flying a huge US flag? no, but it happened.

      is it likely that the head of the US OSS would come up with a plan to invite NKVD officers to the US for 'joint exercises' with US law enforcement? No, but it happened.

      is it likely that the Department of Justice would charge someone with Espionage for telling a journalist that North Korea would probably test a nuclear weapon? No, but it happened.

  • Propaganda (Score:5, Insightful)

    by da8add1e (1244554) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:02AM (#38333136)
    all i needed to see was "An anonymous reader writes:" and the-diplomat.com, this is blatant propaganda -100 score It has no newsworthy merit is inaccurate in many ways as has already been pointed out by others (centrifuge's causing meltdown???) i know america is pissed about getting caught red handed with this, and also about the missile shield debacle http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/24/us-russia-medvedev-missiledefence-idUSTRE7AN1NE20111124 [reuters.com] that's currently ongoing but how is aggravating Russia going to help in either matter?
    • Re:Propaganda (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dails (1798748) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:37AM (#38333238)

      I'm pretty sure that nobody was caught with a hand of any color, which is basically why stuxnet was such a significant piece of work. You negate your own credibility by calling this inaccurate propaganda when you, in one poorly-constructed sentence, make inaccurate and baseless accusations.

  • Were bought with money from an ATM machine, by an employee of the department of redundancy department, who almost forgot his PIN number.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:13AM (#38333180)

    Their scientists are under a lot of pressure from the government Mullahs to finally get that bomb finished. Faced with insurmountable technical problems, the scientists decided to make it look like their project was sabotaged by their enemies: Israel and the US. So they wrote a virus and infected themselves with it.

    So now their scientists have some more time, and the Mullahs are happy, because they can play the thing up with their own people and the international theater.

    Ditto on that US drone thingie.

    If you don't like that one, I'll half-bake another wacko conspiracy theory the next time this story pops up again.

    Maybe I could make the "27 Club" responsible . . . ? Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse are not really dead, but are writing viruses on Marlon Brando's island near Tahiti . . .

    • by black3d (1648913)

      Considering they have told their people that carrion birds circling over their decimated, poorly irrigated land are "zionist vulture spies", this would hardly surprise me.

  • Could this be part of a marketing campaign?

    "In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1340800/ [imdb.com]

    Just joking...

  • by Darth Cider (320236) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @04:35AM (#38333382)
    It's just assumed that Stuxnet is SOOOO advanced that only a nation-state could devise this zero-day infiltration into the centrifuge system of Iran.

    Why assume that nation-states are behind it, and not corporations? A lot of companies would be hard hit if Iran became a threat to stability. Even major defense contractors, who profit from building weapons, would see little upside in a conflict with Iran.

    The news and the internet buzz all say that it has to be a government backed thing, but what if it is simpler than that? It is far simpler to imagine that a private concern is behind it. They can pay for the talent. They have as much at stake as any government.
  • by Hadlock (143607) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:49AM (#38333876) Homepage Journal

    Really? "nuclear gangsterism"? This is a pretty specific phrase, out of a specific book. It doesn't exist anywhere else on the internet but in summaries about that book, and in this slashdot article. Anyone care to comment on how this phrase ended up in the slashdot summary?

    • by decora (1710862) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @08:10AM (#38334160) Journal

      why do people write shit for slashdot? because they are intensely interested in a subject.

      why are they intensely interested? because the subject moves them emotionally.

      you have an inherent conflict of interest. you need to be emotionally detached to be a good reporter, but you wouldnt be writing in the first place (for free no less) unless you had some emotional spark that inspired you to do it.

      normally, editors will balance the emotions of the reporter, but slashdot editors often leave stuff in that a newspaper editor might remove. on the other hand, newspaper editors are increasingly beholden to their corporate masters these days. so whatever.

      when i wrote a story saying an innocent man was innocent, people said i was being too emotional. well, i disagreed, but i cant disagree that it is right to question authors about this type of thing. its the nature of writing.

  • by genka (148122) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @08:47AM (#38334352) Homepage Journal
    ... but Russian immigrants living in and working for Israel. The name "Stuxnet" can be transliterated to "will rot" in Russian. Which was exactly what the Iranian equipment did.
  • Why would they? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2011 @10:49AM (#38335196)

    It doesn't make the slightest sense. A strong Iran is in Russia's interest. If Russia wanted to keep Iran from building a bomb they could just stop supplying nuclear fuel and know-how. Or they could sabotage those plants in much more direct ways because they have access.

    And if the Israeli military is not involved they're certainly playing their role well. They seem to be quite proud of Stuxnet -- rightfully so, except that they should have concealed it longer. That "the US defence and intelligence communities" might have been "caught with their pants down" is not an argument. Not everything Israel does is vetted by the US. Frankly, if I were an Israeli official I would prefer not to involve US agencies, because they have little to contribute and are a security risk.

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