Posted by & filed under cyber terroism, cyber war, Security.

Description: Experts dissecting the computer worm suspected of being aimed at Iran’s nuclear program have determined that it was precisely calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control.

Source: The New York Times

Date: Nov 18, 2010

Their conclusion, while not definitive, begins to clear some of the fog around the Stuxnet worm, a malicious program detected earlier this year on computers, primarily in Iran but also India, Indonesia and other countries.  The paternity of the worm is still in dispute, but in recent weeks officials from Israel have broken into wide smiles when asked whether Israel was behind the attack, or knew who was. American officials have suggested it originated abroad.   The new forensic work narrows the range of targets and deciphers the worm’s plan of attack. Computer analysts say Stuxnet does its damage by making quick changes in the rotational speed of motors, shifting them rapidly up and down   Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel this is cyber terrorism or cyber war? Why?
  • Is it wise to keep the source of this worm code secret?  Why?
  • Do you feel this is a satisfactory way to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

9 Responses to “Worm Was Perfect for Sabotaging Centrifuges”

  1. Lauren Kingston

    Comment for “How the new copyright bill will affect Canadian culture”:

    I don’t think that Canada’s current content rules are relevant in the digital age. They are very outdated due to the fact that they were written at a time with a much lower technology level than we have today. These days almost everyone looks to the internet for some form of entertainment and limited the availability of it is absurd. I agree that there needs to be some sort of rules in place to protect musicians, movie producers, etc. but I think Canada is trying to take it too far and wants too much control. I liked the Justin Bieber excerpt because it shows how people can actually benefit by having free videos on the internet. The downsides to Canada’s proposed strict copyright policy would be that individuals who are pursuing things such as film making and singing might not be able to get their name out into the world. I also think that these laws would be somewhat discouraging for people wanting to break into the performing arts.

  2. Sunny P.

    I do believe this is cyber terrorism and war because they are finding all these flaws and danger attacks online via advanced technology. Further, I believe keeping these worms secret is the best thing and do not spread out too much information. I believe that there should always be a few undercover assignments because the crime and danger in this world is increasing drastically and for them to say out to much information the evil minds will plan an devastating attack that they won’t have no control over. Also, keeping it on the download about such plans and achievements possible to track crime is the best because criminals will do another method if they realize they can be caught easy through a specified way. This is a good reason to let Iran not get these nuclear weapons as to avoid more danger acts.

  3. Jake Robinson

    In today’s world, one has to accept, however much you don’t like it, that nuclear weapons have become a necessity for protection. Don’t get me wrong, I despise nuclear weapons, and think that they could very well be the end of humanity as we know it, but with so many radical nations, such as N. Korea roaming the international streets, so to speak, it has become a ‘must have’ on the weapons front. I think that if a worm has been created that can mess with the construction of these weapons, and can slow them down, then it can only be positive news for the world. These skills should be honed and utilized to put an end to the building of these weapons of mass destruction, period. We have enough of them already, thanks.

  4. Cam Hurt

    I strongly believe that this is cyber terrorism, which could lead to many negative ramifications. In today’s day and age technology is so advanced that there are endless possibilities, and it is scary to think of what could happen if it is used with a malicious intent. A war could arise through the use of worms such as this one, and technology only enables people/countries to go about it in an unexpected manner. I think that it is extremely important to keep these worms low key, and to not divulge too much information, because if too many people become aware of these worms it could be catastrophic. While I think that it is great that this worm messed with the construction, or functioning of nuclear weapons, I fear that this could aggravate a country such as Iran to the point off nuclear war.

  5. tyson.baldrey

    This may not be the last nail in the coffin for Iran’s nuclear program. But, it will definitely motivate them to concentrate more effort on the protection of their computing resources. The whole reason behind their yearning for nuclear weapons is on the basis of national protection and he has them, so why can’t I. If the threat of cyber attacks outweighs that of nuclear attacks then maybe the fast tracking of Iran’s nuclear program won’t be such a perceived necessity. Furthermore, revealing the source of the worm is only adding fuel to the fire. When you stumble upon a skittish and irritable bear do you back it into a corner and repetitively poke it with a stick? I think not, so why antagonize Iran by putting a name to the attacker. Simply, a global security solution should be offered against this worm and then bury any incriminating evidence in a deep hole.

  6. Jens K.

    I strongly believe this is cyber terrorism. By developing and implementing this worm someone thought they would be putting an end to nuclear power in these countries. It is a wise decision to keep the code for this worm hidden from the public. If the code was not kept secure what would stop attackers from targeting nuclear plants in other countries to fight back. The spread of this worm could create more conflict between countries already at war. Cyber terrorism is not the way to stop the use of nuclear power. What would stop the countries affected by this cyber terrorism of repairing a faulty motor and using the nuclear technology in bombs, aimed at countries suspected of implementing this worm?

  7. Dulcie

    Do you feel this is cyber terrorism or cyber war? Why?
    Is it wise to keep the source of this worm code secret? Why?
    Do you feel this is a satisfactory way to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?
    It was a very wise decision for this source to be kept from the public. I believe that indeed this is considered cyber terrorism. If the public was aware of such worm there wouldn’t be a way to track the terrorist and put a halt to what they are aiming to do. I don’t actually think that it would totally be able to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, if the country wants it bad enough they will do everything in their power to try and access it. I do however think that it would assist the process, and enable to investigators to find further evidence that could benefit capturing the who’s behind it so they are able to do their best to prevent such things from happening.

  8. Kelly L

    I feel that this situation is most definitely classified as cyber terrorism. By creating and putting this worm into effect, the person/people behind it are able do damage. I think that it is probably a wise decision to keep the source of this worm code a secret from the public in order to avoid more conflict between countries than there already is. That is the last thing they need when they are already at war with each other. I do not feel that this is a satisfactory method of stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. It is not appropriate to use cyber terrorism to do so. If anything, it will not stop them, it will only make things worse than they already are.

  9. kathy

    Truth is I don’t really know that much about Cyber war or Cyber terrorism it is not really something that people talk about. However, I definitely think that it is an important issue that needs to be looked into. Therefore, I looked up both words in the dictionary. According to the dictionary Cyber war is “the use of electronic communications and the internet to disrupt a country’s telecommunications, power supply, transport system, etc.” Also the dictionary states that Cyber Terrorism is the illegal use of computers and the internet to achieve some goal. The article “Worm Was Perfect for Sabotaging Centrifuges” I believe is an example of cyber terrorism. Why? I think that the worm is using the technology of the internet for bad. Also No one really knows where the worm originated from. Further I don’t think that it is a satisfactory way to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. I think this will upset and anger Iran and in turn find other ways to obtain nuclear weapons. Iran will not stop if they don’t want they will always find alternate ways. As a result I think that is wise to keep the source of the worm a code secret.

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