Israeli Armed Forces: We Were Behind StuxNet

Sabotage

In a surprise admission today, at the retirement party of the Chief of the Israeli Armed Forces, Gabi Ashkenazi, he celebrated as one of his achievements that Israel was behind the “StuxNet” attack on Iranian nuclear centrifuges and an air attack on a Syrian nuclear reactor. This was published in The Haaretz (translation to English here) as well as later in The Telegraph.

This is significant as all Western countries have always denied any involvement in these attacks. It is particularly notable as StuxNet, a weaponized worm, has been used as justification for a worldwide clampdown on the Internet and citizen’s fundamental liberties here in the West.

The New York Times has previously speculated in the United States and Israel having developed StuxNet in a joint effort, citing reliable sources. However, the head guy taking pride in the attack in a public admission is nothing short of shocking. It is a pure revelation.

StuxNet was a weaponized worm specialized in destroying hardware for centrifuging and enriching uranium. Special pieces of its weapon code made it target only specific enrichment installations — those in Iran. It caused the centrifuges to literally spin into pieces.

If done within a country, this attack would give a prison sentence of many years. When done between countries as a sanctioned effort by an organized armed force, it is quite undisputably an aggression act of war.

When I was at a NATO hearing in the European Parliament recently, clampdown on civil liberties on the net were discussed with StuxNet-type events as a background. A senior Member of the European Parliament in the audience complained that the military and NATO regarded the West as victims of StuxNet in its rhetoric, whereas the rest of the world would probably view the West as the aggressors.

Today’s admission confirms that the West were indeed the aggressors. This makes for a very bad case for cutting down on civil liberties in the aggressing countries.

Via Richard Silverstein and @Kyrah.

UPDATE: The Telegraph also reports on the admission (via @masspirates).

UPDATE 2: The retiring General didn’t admit to it in person in an interview; rather, it was part of an achievement celebration video displayed at his retirement party. This makes it even larger, as it was not a slip of the tongue but something prepared by many people in quite some time.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He works as Head of Privacy at the no-log VPN provider Private Internet Access; with his other 40 hours, he's developing an enterprise grade bitcoin wallet and HR system for activism.

Discussion

  1. Falkvinge

    Israeli Armed Forces: We Were Behind StuxNet https://falkvinge.net/2011/02/15/israeli-… #infopolicy #israel #stuxnet

    1. DrewP83

      @Falkvinge Pathetic leftist article. You’re lucky to have #Stuxnet rather than a nuclear bomb in the hands of maniacs in #Iran. Hypocrites.

      1. Falkvinge

        @DrewP83 I wish no theocratic fundamentalist country had nuclear weapons. But my point related to the justific… (cont) http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/Falkvin

        1. DrewP83

          @Falkvinge The “civil liberties” u’re talking about is a disguise of civil nuclear sites. #Iran seeks ultimate power against the west.

          1. Falkvinge

            @DrewP83 I am criticizing military for using StuxNet as justification for monitoring and censoring the Net, when that mil were behind it.

          2. DrewP83

            @Falkvinge If it’s against common enemies who also inspire others commit terror attacks – I’m with it. I’m not the one who needs 2 be afraid

      2. anon

        @DrewP83 I’m terribly sorry for bringing you these news, there are already nuclear bomb in the hands of maniacs and their country name’s are United States Of America, India, Pakistan, Franc, Israel, Germany And China and I’m not certain but I think North Korea got them now. and let me tell you I don’t think Iran having them would have changed much other than Iran getting some undeserved respect like the other mentioned country’s witch is all they are after but if you ask me neither of the previous stated country’s deserve respect.

        as you might have noted I did not mention The United Kingdom Because you can trust them with military hardware of any kind they will only use it to protect them self and others unlike the other country’s, but don’t give them surveillance equipment, because they will put cameras in your bedroom and toilets!

    2. PontusHaag

      @Falkvinge lyfter på hatten. Ingen är väl ledsen att de brände dessa centrifuger.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Falkvinge, Falkvinge, Bodil Stokke, Ann Markström, Gun Svensson and others. Gun Svensson said: RT @Falkvinge: Israeli Armed Forces: We Were Behind StuxNet http://is.gd/XNwADi #infopolicy #israel #stuxnet […]

  3. Nicholas Miles

    The implications of this revelation goes far beyond the formal act of war between two countries which already hate eachother: Western governments have been pushing through legislation supposedly to counteract a threat which they themselves were complicit in.

    Because let’s face it: Does *anyone* think Israel managed to keep this under wraps even from their own allies? That Western security services had no idea the Israelis could be behind the worm? I mean, Mossad are good, but they are definately not *that* good.

    In other words, our politicians having been using a totally engineered threat to grant themselves greater power. I am always loathe to invoke Godwin’s Law, but honestly, the way this whole thing looks right now, they might as well have burned down the Reichstag.

    1. Cerberus

      If the world’s security experts weren’t sure who was behind it (though they suspected Israel, America, or a join effort of the two), then how could the CIA have known? And, even if they did know, does that mean they helped Israel to engineer it? It is of course possible, but let’s not jump to conclusions.

      In any case I don’t think Stuxnet was developed in a conspiracy to promote internet regulation. I rather think the copyright lobby made use of the example as it conveniently came along.

  4. […] known to have used hacking in military applications: The United States and Israel, in their joint attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities that used malicious software of sophistication never before seen by the security community. (As a […]

  5. […] known to have used hacking in military applications: The United States and Israel, in their joint attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities that used malicious software of sophistication never before seen by the security community. (As a […]

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