Stuxnet for the Nobel Peace Prize

(Washington Times) Charley J. Levine - 2010 - pegged universally as crunch time for Iran's atomic ambitions - was to be a year characterized by a crippling counterblow to Tehran's plans. Just three years ago, the Syrian nuclear site at Deir Ez Zor, a shill for North Korea, was leveled. Both the International Atomic Energy Agency and CIA had concluded the site was heading toward military functionality. Eight "unidentified" aircraft carried out the mission, which included clandestine scouts on the ground. The bombers used Turkish airspace. Brig. Gen. Mohammed Suleiman, Syrian President Bashar Assad's go-to-guy with North Korea and Iran, was subsequently - as if for good measure - fatally shot by an unnamed sniper while on vacation on Aug. 2, 2008. Stuxnet, perhaps the most sophisticated, complex worm virus ever designed, invaded the computer control systems of Iran's atomic facilities. Washington's Institute for Science and International Security concluded that Stuxnet infected as many as 30,000 institutional computers involved in the project and outright broke 1,000 Iranian IR-1 centrifuges at the Natanz uranium-enrichment facility. World security experts opined that Stuxnet was "amazing" and "groundbreaking," even a "prime example of clandestine digital warfare." If the malwarfare were not enough, an assault on Iran's atomic scientists was also an integral part of the campaign. As recently as Nov. 29, quantum physicist Majid Shahriari was eliminated in Tehran - causing the next 5,000 people engaged in weaponizing Iran to perhaps think twice about their career paths. A key lesson has clearly been learned: Attack effectively and keep quiet. The temporary derailment of Iran's atomic program is the greatest news story not reported on in 2010. The West can sleep just a little better tonight as a result, comforted by the amazing results secured by a smart and civic-minded Lone Ranger who might be considered for the next Nobel Peace Prize. But nobody for sure knows who that quiet masked man was. Or what he did. Or why he did it.

2011-01-07 08:13:38

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