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RareDenver's avatar

Who do you think is behind Stuxnet?

Asked by RareDenver (13163points) September 26th, 2010

The Stuxnet worm appears to be attacking the infrastructure of Iran’s nuclear program. Some people have suggested that the complexity and target indicate it was created by a ‘nation state’. Who do you think is behind it? UK? USA? Israel? Some spotty kid in his parents basement?

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9 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Israel. You didn’t hear me say that!

jaytkay's avatar

On one hand, I hope it’s the US military or CIA or NSA, because I’d rather see it used by my the US rather than on the US.

On the other hand, it opens up an arms race and I hope it’s not true. Maybe Iran doesn’t have a handle on its processes, and they are blaming it on outside forces.

Thirty years ago, the US and USSR didn’t need enough nuclear weapons to destroy life on Earth several times over. But they felt a need to build more if the other side did. Rinse later repeat.

Unlike the nuclear arms race, cyberwar is not immensely expensive, so there can be a lot more potential first-rate players. We could get mutually assured chaos of attacking infrastructure (water, power, transportation) became a common tool of economic competition among nations.

ragingloli's avatar

The CIA.
Though I do have doubts about their competence to pull it off.

antimatter's avatar

Perhaps it’s someone who don’t agree with their nuclear policy, why must it always be the USA, UK or Israel? Maybe the virus sneaked in via an email or one of the employees was doing an illegal download. Who cares about their nuclear program anyway. Don’t Iran have the right to defend them selves? Why do we need nuclear weapons? Because it’s a weapon not for destroying a city but it’s more for psychological warfare. I won’t mess with a country that may have a nuclear weapon. So if I have a nuclear program all the big bullies the USA, the UK and who ever don’t like me will trow all their toys out of their cots.
And yes they will try trow everything at me to stop me including planting viruses on my computers.

Jaxk's avatar

I would like to think we are doing more than hoping the sanctions will work. Hope springs eternal in the hearts of men. Most likely it was some snotty nosed kid in the basement. Maybe an Iranian student.

ragingloli's avatar

Most likely it was some snotty nosed kid in the basement. Maybe an Iranian student.
The IT experts disagree. The virus is so sophisticated that they posit it required massive funding to pull it off.

Jaxk's avatar


You (and they) may be right. I know little about this virus. But it is a matter of pride that IT
experts would want to think that thier security is too complex for the average hacker. They’ve been proven time and again to be wrong. The cost of developing a virus is almost totally programming time and computer power. We have put enormous compute power in the hands of hundreds of millions (if not billions) of people. Hackers have enormous expertise and time on their hands to improve it. And they build on the work of each other. Most don’t view it as a job but rather their recreational outlet. Most viruses and worms create no real benefit to the hacker other than the satisfaction of knowing they beat the system.

I have no doubt this could be the work of a nation but I would not short change the time and expertise of the worldwide hacker community. We’ll probably never know for sure.

flutherother's avatar

I would guess Israel. They have the incentive and they have the capability and they aren’t too concerned with what the rest of the world thinks of them. This is what Israeli Chief of Military Intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin said recently “Cyberspace grants small countries and individuals a power that was heretofore the preserve of great states.”

Stuxnet is the opening skirmish of a new kind of war, cyberwar. It is only just beginning

Nullo's avatar

I like to think that it’s the work of some bold, vigilante-minded young person, bent on making the world a better place with his mad skillz. Probably nothing as pulpy as that, though.

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