Hayden Says Stuxnet Was, ‘A Good Idea’; Mentions Potential for Blowback

March 2nd, 2012

Via: CBS:

Could the Stuxnet virus that sabotaged the Iranian nuclear program be used against the U.S. infrastructure or other high profile targets? A retired American general who was the head of the Central Intelligence Agency when Stuxnet would have been created calls the cyber weapon a “good idea,” but warns it is out there now for others to exploit. Steve Kroft reports on Stuxnet and the potential consequences of its use in a “60 Minutes” story to be broadcast Sunday, March 4 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

About two years ago, the all-important centrifuges at Iran’s nuclear fuel enrichment facility at Natanz began failing at a suspicious rate. Iran eventually admitted that computer code created problems for their centrifuges, but downplayed any lasting damage. Computer security experts now agree that code was a sophisticated computer worm dubbed Stuxnet, and that it destroyed more than 1,000 centrifuges. Many believe the U.S., in conjunction with Israel, sabotaged the system. Retired Gen. Mike Hayden, once head of the NSA and CIA, who was no longer in office when the attack occurred, denies knowing who was behind it, but said, “This was a good idea, alright? But I also admit this was a big idea, too. The rest of the world is looking at this and saying, ‘Clearly, someone has legitimated this kind of activity as acceptable.'”

Not only that, says Hayden, but the weapon, unlike a conventional bomb that is obliterated on contact, remains intact. “So there are those out there who can take a look at this…and maybe even attempt to turn it to their own purposes,” he tells Kroft.

In fact, says Sean McGurk, who once led the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to secure U.S. systems from cyberattack , “You can download the actual source code of Stuxnet now and you can repackage it…point it back to wherever it came from.” McGurk worries terrorists or a rogue country could refashion it to attack U.S. infrastructure like the power grid or water treatment facilities, even nuclear power plants. He tells Kroft he would never have advised anyone to unleash such a weapon. “They opened the box. They demonstrated the capability…it’s not something that can put back.”

2 Responses to “Hayden Says Stuxnet Was, ‘A Good Idea’; Mentions Potential for Blowback”

  1. GaryC Says:

    Thus setting the stage for the false-flag attack that will kick-off war with Iran. Shut down power to a major `merkin city, blame Achmed-dinnerjacket, and send in the bombers! This M.O. is so obvious it’s almost laughable, until you start to think about the implications.

  2. steve holmes Says:

    I suspect that the blow back has already happened. About 18 months ago, a certain very large corporation in the Seattle area had a sudden failure their electrical systems that feed electrical power to what is likely the largest machine shop in the world. I don’t mean a blown circuit breaker or two, I mean they suddenly had no power and virtually wiped out the available supply of electrical wire and cable in the US to perform an emergency rewiring of the plant. This failure nearly caused a total shutdown for months. Emergency backup systems were brought in immediately as the GNP is dependent on this company to continue production on schedule. I am no electrical engineer, but it seemed obvious that something more serious than a rat chewing through a cable or a mylar balloon shorting out a transformer in a substation took place. Interesting comment from a friend who works there: “It’s all really strange- it’s all hush-hush. You would think that something this big would be all over the media but nobody is saying a word about it.”
    Stuxnet attacked Seimens computerized electrical controllers and that company is most likely filled with them as they use a phenomenal amount of electricity. Consequently, I highly suspect they were hit with Stuxnet…and there are other places that had similar Seimens controller failure around the same time, not just in the US. Hard to believe it is just coincidence.

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