[Owasp-singapore] FW: Stux it to the man

Wong Onn Chee ocwong at usa.net
Tue Oct 12 11:13:30 EDT 2010


>From a OWASP friend in India.

Onn Chee

-----Original Message-----
From: Pukhraj Singh
Sent: Monday, 11 October 2010 11:18 PM
Subject: Stux it to the man

As I pick through the trail of debris left by Stuxnet in India, the turn of geopolitical events behind this watershed incident do not cease to spark my imagination. Enough has been said about the sheer technical brilliance and the blatant shortcomings of this attack, let's go a bit further and try to hypothesize (very briefly) the strategic and tactical underpinnings. For the sake of argument, blame it all on Israel as we usually do. 

I will continue from where Robert Baer left off. In March, the former CIA field officer and operative par-excellence wrote an article assessing the potential fallouts of the Mahmoud al-Mabhouh incident. Mabhouh, a senior Hamas operative, was found dead in a Dubai hotel on Jan 19, assassinated by a Mossad hit-squad. The brazenness and temerity with which this operation was executed left many nations fuming. With Dubai leading the acerbic opposition, any hopes to forge an Arab Sunni lobby or availing the Gulf airspace for a missile attack on Iranian nuclear installations were quashed. But the 'Plan B' was already in progress. Little did Robert knew that the world has changed a lot since Osirak. Stuxnet began spreading in January too. The chain of command must have explored all the options.

When I first heard about the little-known Stuxnet in July, I was inspired to write an article on how conventional armies will leverage cyberspace as an element of surprise, paving the way for swift and decisive information superiority. A 'Unified Cyber Command' using everything under its disposal - a decision analytics platform fed by information from a dedicated and ongoing CYBERINTEL campaign to an active electronically scanned array (AESA) based cyber-jammer mounted on a fighter. A few years ago when the cyberwar rhetoric had picked pace, this domain finally found its place in the 'conflict spectrum' - somewhere between 'petty crimes' and 'organized cartels'. Well, I am darn sure that Stuxnet pushed it up by a few notches on an axis which terminated on 'nuclear attack'. 

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