Stuxnet goes to Vanity Fair

A great review of the probable history and background to Stuxnet in, of all things, Vanity Fair http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/04/stuxnet-201104.

Its a well researched thriller of a story and highlights 2 key aspects:

1. how targeted and dangerous this attack could be.

2 how difficult it is to really attribute it.

I think the second is the more interesting point and is the spur behind governments investing in Cyber Defence and Attack. Even an attack as well researched as this is attributed by supposition not fact. Dates of when the code was written, internal code names etc all point in particular directions but could be false markers.

In real CSI style, there are no actual fingerprints and even if there was a comment in the code of “brought to you be Israeli Intelligence” is meaningless as its just code and anyone could have written it. Tracing the origination back to a country or IP or location is also meaningless as all it takes is someone to go to the country, sign-on to a local ISP and upload and you’re done. And in fact they probably don’t need to go to the country.

So all you’re left with in true thriller style is motive. And in the Machiavellian world of international relations, good luck on knowing who’s doing what to whom, and why.

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