Patt Morrison for January 24, 2011

Stuxnet –cyber sabotage with a laser focus and deadly potential

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Don Hankins/Flickr

Stuxnet, a cyber weapon believed by experts to have been created by Israel or the United States - some say China or Russia - is targeted specifically to gas centrifuges in Iran, causing havoc in their nuclear program.

The Pentagon has a new Cyber Command. The government of Iran has its own Cyber Army, believed to be linked to the Revolutionary Guard. But Stuxnet might be the kind of game-changing computer worm that could outsmart them all. This cyber weapon is believed by experts to have been created by Israel or the United States - some say China or Russia - and targeted specifically to gas centrifuges in Iran, causing havoc in their nuclear program. Stuxnet was identified in June of this year, but the extent of its damage wasn’t clear until recently, when official downplaying of Tehran’s progress in development of an atomic weapon by the State Department and Israel’s intelligence service seems to point to success in efforts to disrupt Iran’s plans. With the ability to be focused in a very specific way, many say this most sophisticated cyber weapon signals immense consequences for global security.

Guests:

Richard Clarke, partner at Good Harbor Consulting, LLC, a global provider of strategic safety, security and risk management consulting services; served the last three Presidents as a senior White House Advisor on security and global terrorism; author of Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It

John Bumgarner, Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent, non-profit research institute providing assessments of the strategic and economic consequences of possible cyber-attacks and cyber-assisted physical attacks.


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