Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cyber War: Expands to China

This story just keeps getting more and more interesting. Today's updates:

"World's first 'cyber superweapon' attacks China"

A computer virus dubbed the world's "first cyber superweapon" by experts and which may have been designed to attack Iran's nuclear facilities has found a new target -- China.

The Stuxnet computer worm has wreaked havoc in China, infecting millions of computers around the country, state media reported this week.

Stuxnet is feared by experts around the globe as it can break into computers that control machinery at the heart of industry, allowing an attacker to assume control of critical systems like pumps, motors, alarms and valves.

"This malware is specially designed to sabotage plants and damage industrial systems, instead of stealing personal data," an engineer surnamed Wang at antivirus service provider Rising International Software told the Global Times

"Once Stuxnet successfully penetrates factory computers in China, those industries may collapse, which would damage China's national security," he added.

"It is the first known worm to target industrial control systems."

Now (below) things get really interesting. We know (basically) what the worm is, but who developed it and what is the ultimate goal?

"Inside Stuxnet: Researcher drops new clues about origin of worm"

The mysterious Stuxnet worm took center stage at the Virus Bulletin 2010 conference here with a prominent security researcher dropping a raw hint that Israel may be behind the industrial-strength malware attack.

Symantec security researcher Liam O Murchu (photo above) says he found the “05091979″ date in the Stuxnet code, a possible link to the May 9, 1979 execution of Jewish Iranian businessman and philantropist Habib Elghanian.

Ever since the discovery of the worm, which Microsoft says dates back to January 2009, there has been incessant speculation that Stuxnet is a nation-state attack against Iranian nuclear plants. We’ve heard murmurings of biblical references and public confirmation that the Iran’s Buescher nuclear reactor was the main target.

There will be more and more calls that Israel is behind this, and this may be true. However, it could also be a conspiracy to have it APPEAR that Israel is behind this worm. At this level of espionage there is just no telling who is ultimately behind this and what the real agenda could be. Watching it evolve is going to be quite interesting.

However, security experts are cautioning against reading too much into anything deliberately left in the code by the Stuxnet authors because, at this level, there could be all kinds of decoys and misdirection.

Indeed. Now DEBKA weighs in:

"Iran is bent on avenging cyber attack, raising military tensions"

Tehran is bent on military action to settle scores with Israel and the United States whom it suspects of planting the malignant Stuxnet cyber worm in the computer systems of its nuclear, military and strategic infrastructure

The timeline of this attack revolves around the state visit to Lebanon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has scheduled for Oct. 13-14, during which he will tour the Israeli border. Preying heavily on Iran too are the personal sanctions the United States has just imposed on its top military brass and ministers.

In its latest issue, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported Friday, Oct. 1 that when Assad and Ahmadinejad last met in Damascus on Sept. 18, three days after the malworm surfaced, the Iranian president warned that his country wouldf retaliate for the cyber attack by military means. Its allies, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas were advised to prepare for Israel taking the opportunity to attack them.

This represents an interesting development in this "cyber war". If that isn't enough, we now see further escalation of this situation:

Washington got involved when Wednesday, Sept. 29, President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions on eight top Iranian officials, accusing them of serious human rights abuses, including the killing, torture, beating and rape of Iranian citizens since the country's disputed 2009 presidential election.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly noted that this was the first time Washingtonhad singled out top-flight Iranian military and security personages for personal penalties and imposed them without reference to Iran's nuclear program.

Iranian sources do not believe the Islamic regime can afford to let Washington's blunt assault on it’s the mainstays of its power go unchallenged.

Whether Israel is involved or not - it may work out for Iranian interests to point to Israel as the main culprit. Will this provide Iran with an excuse to attack Israel? After all, its been clear for quite some time now that Iran would love to have a "reason" to attack, and perhaps this explains why Iran has been baiting Israel for so long now. We'll see.

On a separate note, and unrelated to the articles above, some folks may find this article interesting:

"Political Extremism"

The reason is simple. One aspect of "socialism", "progressivism", "communism" or whatever it is called (the names change conveniently for those who espouse such views) that is often overlooked: It simply goes against the grain of human nature, and for that simple reason, it will never work successfully:

The radical Left's denial of human nature carries with it the arrogant assumption that humans are little more than replicated androids content to do whatever government mandates. This is simply elitist wishful thinking which projects sheep-like docility on independent beings which are more feline than bovine in nature -- and you can't herd cats.

The revolutionists denied human nature at work. It is a zealotry which, history shows, has led to the perverse belief that wholesale executions, killing fields, mass starvations, and forced-labor gulags are perfectly legitimate, even necessary, means of creating the perfect socialist world. These slaughters were done solely to extinguish the educated, innovative, entrepreneurial, productive "bourgeoisie" -- the "greedy" middle class whose existence was/is intolerable to the priesthood of this ostensibly egalitarian, if murderous, Collectivist ethos.

It's deadly clear that the Liberal and revolutionary Left have near-zero tolerance for the civil rights of any individuals who choose to live in opposition to the Left's gestating Collective. It's also clear that there is nothing on the Conservative, yet-to-be-defined "far Right" that represents a threat to the constitutional fabric of the country in the way of the activist, ideologically driven Left and its Kafka-esque Postmodernist relativism.

If that tweaks your interest, then the article is worth reading. I try to avoid politics as much as possible, but with the world government approaching, in preparation for the Tribulation, sometimes it is unavoidable.


Expected Imminently said...

Is the way the date is written a part of the clue? 05091979

Being a Brit I would write the 9th of May as 09051979.


Scott said...

Hmmm...Thats an interesting thought...