Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stuxnet: Made in the USA

UPDATE 16 January 2011: Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay

1 December 2010: Speculations on Stuxnet’s national point of origin have run as rampant as the trojan malware has within the Iranian nuclear weapons infrastructure since the discovery of the super cyber weapon by the Belarus security firm VirusBlokAda on 17 June 2010. The vast majority of those subject-matter-expert commentaries leading corporate media-driven speculations have centered on Israel and its secretive military intelligence Unit 8200 as that point of origin.

One of those so-called experts, Richard Falkenrath, a former Senior Director of Policy and Plans with the United States Office of Homeland Security, was on Bloomberg Television as recently as September 24 pointing a very accusative finger at Israel. When asked directly by the interviewer what were the chances that the United States was the nation-state of origin Falkenrath responded(at the 1:57 mark of the linked video), “It is theoretically impossible that the U.S. government did this, but in my judgment it is a very remote possibility. More likely is, frankly, Israel. That Israel did it.”

Richard Falkenrath needs to have a conversation or two with his former government peers, or at the least with the New York Times’s David E. Sanger about an article he wrote a full 17 months prior to the discovery of Stuxnet. Published by the Times on 10 January 2009 Sanger’s article, headlined “U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site,” clearly references the United States as the point of origin of Stuxnet during the last year of the administration of President George W. Bush..

Quoting Sanger’s article:

“President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.... The White House denied that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily. But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.”

Stuxnet. Made in the USA.

For all of two years now the big remaining Stuxnet mystery has been hiding in plain sight, and now the operationally deceptive embedded “fingerprints” within the lines of Stuxnet’s code suggesting an Israeli origin are moot. And, for their part, the Israeli authorities don’t seem to have any problem with such misdirection exercises. The Israeli’s might even consider them to have some inherent entertainment value. From an intelligence perspective they do have that quality.

Interestingly, it was also the New York Times’s David E. Sanger who also informed the world in another article, published 29 September 2009, of a team of Symantec researcher’s discovery of a Stuxnet project string code driver (b:\myrtus\src\objfre_w2k_x86\i386\guava.pdb) that contained an apparently ingenious “paternity” reference to Israel linked to the Book of Esther. This article was published just five days after Richard Falkenrath’s accusative Bloomberg TV interview. The Book of Esther tells the story of how the Jews in ancient Elam overcame a Persian plot to annihilate them and instead turned the tables on their enemies and were granted the power to preemptively annihilate their enemies anywhere in King Xerxes realm.

It just so happens that ancient Elam is the same modern day geographical location for most of the crown jewels in the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Now that’s a brilliant touch of flair the American creators of Stuxnet should receive an award for. And now it can be said that the US has finally taken a step towards rectifying all of the acts of war Iran has committed against the US since 1979 as well the murders of our Marines in Beirut and other American heroes in Lebanon.


Anonymous said...

If true (and pardon my skepticism as we'll probably never know for sure exactly what "covert actions" the U.S. took--unless Wikileaks comes to our aid), I doubt this will be duplicated with N. Korea because of the current peace-at-all-costs (or rather, destruction-to-the-US) child-man who is most unfortunately our CIC.

Sean Osborne said...

In my experience the combination of "covert action" with "subtle sabotage of Iran's nuclear infrastructure" can mean only one thing when dealing with such software-driven devices as SCADA control systems operating nuclear isotope centrifuges - cyber warfare.

It is precisely this cyber warfare which has kept Israeli F-16I Sufa aircraft and Dolphin-class submarines from doing what Israel has done repeatedly in maintaining is nuclear weapons monopoly intact in the Middle East. Otherwise there's a virtual certainty that several smoking holes in the ground would exist in Iran today.

Additonally, David Sanger's 10 January 2009 article speaks to the information on the George W. Bush-approved American covert program coming to light over the period of the previous 15 months (October 2007 through December 2008) from interviews with "current and former American officials, outside experts, international nuclear inspectors and European and Israeli officials. None would speak on the record because of the great secrecy surrounding the intelligence developed on Iran."

And the national origin of Stuxnet is an informational black hole?

Moreover, the very next sentence of Sanger's article states: "Several details of the covert effort have been omitted from this account, at the request of senior United States intelligence and administration officials, to avoid harming continuing operations."

I find that sentence to be the proverbial smoking gun because the the SOP response from such such officials would be to neither confirm or deny - period.

This begs a a very important question.

When did the New York Times ever treat the Administration of George W. Bush with such honorable respect with regard to intelligence operations and acts of war against an Islamic Middle Eastern country?

To this very day SECDEF Robert Gates holds tenaciously to the "Bush Doctrine" on dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue covertly.

Stuxnet: Made in the USA.

Sean Osborne said...

In David Sanger's concluding paragraph's (Page 3 of the article) we read:

"What Mr. Bush authorized, and informed a narrow group of Congressional leaders about, was a far broader effort, aimed at the entire industrial infrastructure that supports the Iranian nuclear program. Some of the efforts focused on ways to destabilize the centrifuges. The details are closely held, for obvious reasons, by American officials. One official, however, said, “It was not until the last year that they got really imaginative about what one could do to screw up the system.”

Then, he cautioned, “none of these are game-changers,” meaning that the efforts would not necessarily cripple the Iranian program. Others in the administration strongly disagree.


mark3210 said...

Do you have a feel for how much time Stuxnet has delayed Iran from obtaining nukes?
I see in the news they're getting ready to start Bushehr, so maybe they've overcome the worst of it?

Sean Osborne said...


Well, for some time now I've thought that Iran already has working nuclear weapons from outside sources - like North Korea. I found some support in this from a Russian general named Dvorkin who told the Herzliya Conference in Israel over a year ago the same thing.

Therefore, I think Iran is being as ambiguous about its newly acquired nuclear capabilites as Israel has been for the past 43 years. It's a nuclear weapons version of "don't ask - don't tell."

However, when it comes to Iran's indigenous nuclear capability, I don't think anyone can accurately quantify the total effect Stuxnet has had on the Iranian enrichment processes. Unless we have a mole right there in Natanz, it's a " known unknown."

This brings me to the point of saying IF Stuxnet has not yet been completely purged from Bushehr's SCADA control systems - I think one could reasonably expect it to go BOOM ala Chernobyl at some point in the near future.

I guess my bottom line is that I interpret Jeremiah 49:34-39 to be an unfulfilled prophecy about a coming foreign strike on Elam's (Iran's) nuclear infrastructure.

Great Grany 5 said...

Good report Sean and it makes perfect sense to me. As I read your article I couldn't help but feel that the rest of the story has not been played quite yet. Maybe there is a big Boom factor at a certain point in the whole plans and you know, as well as I do, that there are all kinds of ways to hide code in computers.

I love the fact that it was taken on by one of my favorite Presidents of the USA. Quietly doing what needed to be done, being called a dah, any other demeaning word and still, knowing full well, he was sitting on a goldmine of future protective measures for our nation and the world.

Ah, now I can find that peaceful spot and take up my intercession for our country and God's protection for all from the likes of the Dinner Jacket.


Sean Osborne said...

Amen Grany, Amen.

Obviously you read my response to Mark3210 above regarding the "boom" I'm expecting at Bushehr if the Stuxnet trojan has no been totally eradicated.

Well, as I pointed out to some of our brothers this afternoon - Stuxnet remains alive and engaged in its very serious business according to this "exclusive" report posted today by FoxNews:

Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say


"EXCLUSIVE: Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say.

The American and European experts say their security websites, which deal with the computer worm known as Stuxnet, continue to be swamped with traffic from Tehran and other places in the Islamic Republic, an indication that the worm continues to infect the computers at Iran's two nuclear sites.


"It was equipped with a warhead that targeted and took over the controls of the centrifuge systems at Iran’s uranium processing center in Natanz, and it had a second warhead that targeted the massive turbine at the nuclear reactor in Bashehr(sic)."

There's more at the FoxNews link, and the truth be told, I was somewhat or mildly surprised to read the details in the FoxNews report.

A wildly successful Stuxnet is far more preferable to the still possible multi-national military strikes upon Iranian nuclear sites.

Paraphrasing as our Lord said in His Olivet Discourse, when it comes to wars and rumors of wars, these things must take place, but the end is not yet.

Be that at it may turn out, there is no question in my mind that we're in the season of His coming for His Bride and His ultimate full revelation to the whole world.


Great Grany 5 said...

YES, to all of the above. Sean, you are precious brother in the Lord and I cannot begin to tell you the excitement in just reading the report from Fox. WOW!!! I love the gentle way that this was done and yet it is so very effective in derailing the puffed up Iranian Strutter's plans of mass destruction.

I would imagine when they push the wrong key on their keyboard, the boom heard around the world will happen and to think it will take place in Elam is even more significant.

I think I will just enjoy your report the rest of the week and wait for it all to come about, because it will.

Shalom my brother and that is a great big Shalom.