Stuxnet is Victory at Entebbe 2.0
The Stuxnet worm alleged to be the work of Israel and the US was designed to target and disable Iranian centrifuges by increasing their speeds to dangerous levels while reporting to operators that all was well. The latest report from the New York Times shows this worm has also hit five industrial sites in the land of Ahmadinejad.
It’s no secret most of the world does not want Iran to get nuclear weapons and the best weapon being used to deter the country’s nuclear program was sanctions and if they are working it would be tough to know it as the country are prospering greatly as the price of oil is much higher than what Iran has budgeted.
So electronic warfare is a nice and neat way to disable a portion of the country’s operations without the need to go to war, risk lives, etc.
Because of the nature of this attack some predict the Iranian nuclear program has been set back by two years, making this attack historic in its ingenuity. It is really Victory at Entebbe 2.0. As you may recall, Operation Entebbe was a daring hostage rescue mission pulled off by the Israel Defense Forces in 1976.
Cyberattacks are not new by any means but the level of sophistication and damage created by this attack make it something bad guys everywhere will be trying to emulate. And this means as we interconnect more systems from smart grids to smart homes… From automobiles to transit systems and full cities, we need to understand the stakes are higher than ever. Rogue countries and terrorist organizations have a new standard to try to beat and it is not out of the question to see countries engaging in more frequent cyberwars in the future. This could be in conjunction with conventional wars like when Russia and Georgia had their recent conflict or full out cyberwars like Stuxnet or when Russia targeted Estonian web servers with DDoS attacks.
For the tech industry this means massive new budgets will be allocated to not only defending against such attacks but developing ingenious new ways of disabling enemies.
And while cyberwar sounds less ominous than having bombs dropped on your head, there is no telling what sorts of damage citizens of the future will be facing if cyberterrorism and cyberwar escalates.