The worm that turned: How Stuxnet helped heat up cyberarms race IRIB Iranian TV via Reuters TV file Workers are seen in what was described by Iranian state television as the control room at a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran, in this image taken from video released on Feb. 15. By Robert Windrem, Senior investigative producer, NBC News When the worm dubbed “Stuxnet” wriggled into public view in July 2010, computer security experts recognized almost immediately that it was no ordinary piece of malware. “This particular attack targets the industrial supervisory software SCADA,” Juraj Malcho, head of the Virus Lab at the Slovakia-based security firm ESET, wrote at the time. It took months of analysis before experts were able to identify the target of the cyberattack: Iran’s nuclear program. The worm, they discovered, was a powerful new tool for mayhem, capable of both surveillance and harming computers. Stuxnet only burst into the limelight, they said, after escaping from those systems and spreading “into the wild” across the Internet.
A Cyberworm that Knows No Boundaries Iran's announcement that a computer worm called Stuxnet had infected computers that controlled one of its nuclear processing facilities marked a signal event in cyber attacks. Although such attacks were known to be theoretically possible, the incident proved that a cyberworm could successfully infiltrate a system and produce physical damage. Furthermore, the sophisticated nature of the worm and the resources that would have been required to design, produce, and implant it strongly suggest a state-sponsored effort. It has become clear that Stuxnet-like worms pose a serious threat even to infrastructure and computer systems that are not connected to the Internet.
Gaza and Israel: The Road to War, Paved by the West JERUSALEM — AS fires rockets at Israeli cities and follows up its extensive airstrikes with a ground operation in the , the most immediate cause of this latest war has been ignored: Israel and much of the international community placed a prohibitive set of obstacles in the way of the “national consensus” government that was formed in early June. That government was created largely because of Hamas’s desperation and isolation. The group’s alliance with Syria and Iran was in shambles. Seeing a region swept by popular protests against leaders who couldn’t provide for their citizens’ basic needs, Hamas opted to give up official control of Gaza rather than risk being overthrown. Yet, in many ways, the reconciliation government could have served Israel’s interests. Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government, however, and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat.
The U.S. and Europe Are Blocking Global Cooperation Leaders of the world’s largest economies are off for a G-20 get-together June 18 in Los Cabos, Mexico. No doubt, their closing communiqué will declare that the governance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should “more adequately reflect changing economic weights in the world economy in order to increase their legitimacy and effectiveness.” We know that because the statement has been repeated in pretty much every G-20 declaration since the first one in 2008. But thanks to the shortsighted foot-dragging of the U.S. and Europe, this important ambition is proving difficult to realize. As the economic crisis rumbles on, hitting the old, very rich of Europe and North America far more than the new, somewhat rich of Asia and Latin America, the traditional order of global financial governance is looking increasingly frayed. And rather than additional financing or less clout, the price of reduced effectiveness appears to be exactly the cost that the U.S. has decided to pay.
Ex-Pentagon general target of leak investigation, sources say James Cartwright, a retired general and trusted member of President Barack Obama's national security team, has been informed that he's the target of a Justice Department criminal investigation into a leak about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear program. NBCs Mike Isikoff reports. By Michael Isikoff, National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News Legal sources tell NBC News that the former second ranking officer in the U.S. military is now the target of a Justice Department investigation into a politically sensitive leak of classified information about a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program. According to legal sources, Retired Marine Gen. Last year, the New York Times reported that Cartwright, a four-star general who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 2007 to 2011, conceived and ran the cyber operation, called Olympic Games, under Presidents Bush and Obama. Related story The worm that turned: How Stuxnet helped heat up cyberarms race
FBI intent on sniffing out those who leaked possible US Stuxnet role Federal investigators in the US are tightening the screws on former senior government officials who might have leaked info about the Stuxnet worm, according to The Washington Post. Last June, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. started the inquiry into loose lips. As Naked Security recounts here, the Stuxnet virus was seemingly created by the US, under the regime of President George W. The US pulled Israel into the cyber-espionage effort, with stunning results. Those results included slowing down and speeding up a centrifuge's delicate parts, which resulted in damage so extreme that, according to The New York Times, debris from a damaged centrifuge was laid across the conference table at the White House's Situation Room to demonstrate the malware's potential power. But the obligingly destructive Stuxnet spun out of control and escaped into the wider world, damaging systems well beyond Iran. The code name for the Stuxnet operation was Olympic Games. The Guardian's Greenwald writes:
Senate rejects bill on veterans benefits The largest piece of veterans legislation in decades -- aimed at expanding health care, education and other benefits -- was rejected Thursday by the Senate on a procedural issue after proponents failed to obtain 60 votes to keep the bill alive. Wrangling over an issue -- veterans -- that often receives bipartisan support, the legislation died on a vote of 56-41, with only two Republicans voting for it. Most Republicans said it was too large, too costly and would burden a Department of Veterans Affairs already struggling to keep up with promised benefits. Sen Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee who authored the bill, argued that many provisions in the bill have won bipartisan support in other pieces of pending legislation before Congress. Republicans complained about how to pay for it. Sanders' legislation had more than 140 provisions costing $21 billion over 10 years. The bill was supported by nearly all veterans groups.
Mexican immigration to U.S. at a standstill By msnbc.com staff and news services WASHINGTON -- Faced with a persistently weak economy, the number of immigrants flowing into the United States from Mexico has declined for the first time in decades, according to a study released on Monday. An analysis of census data from the U.S. and Mexican governments details the movement to and from Mexico, a nation accounting for nearly 60 percent of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. It comes amid renewed debate over U.S. immigration policy as the Supreme Court hears arguments this week on Arizona's tough immigration law. Roughly 6.1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants were living in the U.S. last year, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007, according to the Pew Hispanic Center study. Much of the drop in illegal immigrants is due to the weak U.S. economy, which has shrunk construction and service-sector jobs attractive to Mexican workers following the housing bust. Former President George W. Other findings by the Pew Center: