The topic is Stuxnet. That’s the “mysterious” virus that damaged computer systems at the Iranian uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, and offlined several critical systems at the German-built 1970s nuclear reactor at Bushehr.
It looks pretty good. There’s always plenty of opportunity for hype, though. It must be interesting interviewing those people – I know that if Hayden or Clarke told me the sun was shining outside, I’d stick my head out a window and make sure.
STUXNET Time-line at WIRED
I remember when the AURORA experiment was done at Idaho National Labs – while the idea had been recognized as theoretically possible, it took an actual demonstration to get people to believe it was a real problem.
AURORA was the birth of STUXNET. It’s pretty easy to connect those dots.
In 2011 I (correctly, it turns out) concluded STUXNET was at least in part developed* by the US government or its agents, when I asked myself “how do you test such a thing?” The answer to that is simple: where are there Pakistani/A.Q. Khan-style RP1 centrifuges to test against? Oak Ridge National Labs, of course – where the US stores centrifuges obtained from Libya’s nuclear program.
I’ve been writing about cyberwar for more than a decade, now** and began introducing the idea of a “weapon of privilege” – a weapon that, as Mr White says in Reservoir Dogs:
The US has been setting itself up to use cyberweapons when and how it sees fit, just like it has with drone technology.
“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks.” – Anonymous Pentagon Spokesperson
The US’ relentless propaganda about Chinese cyberattacks, Iranian threats to the power grid, etc, – all ignore the fact that generally the US fires the first shot. The Department of Glass Houses deployed its new stone-throwing technology.
(* Who launched it? It appears to be Israel.)
(** “Cyberwar is Bullshit” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cusk6EF4b-M slides)