Have you read John le Carre? If you had, you would not be naïve enough to think that the U.S. and Israel would sit idle and watch the Iranian centrifuge machine to go full steam ahead. Gary Samore, White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction announced gleefully in May 2011 that they made it complicated for Iran in its endeavor to acquire the cutting-edge technology. What made this feat possible was Stuxnet, a computer worm that was discovered in mid-2010. The worm first affects Microsoft Windows and goes on to target Siemens Industrial Control Systems. It is the first no-holds-barred intentional cyber warfare malware that was put to use to successfully sabotage an industrial system.
Cannot be stuck on Stuxnet 1
There has been a lull for several months in the news about the stranger-than-fiction plots by governments against governments. But, can Stuxnet 2 be far behind with developments in cyberspace happenings at the rate of speed of light? Rumors can very well be dismissed outright but logically, you cannot expect the developers of the malware to rest on their laurels and do nothing further, can you? They must already be working on the next step.
Stranger bed-bedfellows cannot be imagined but it looks as if the Israeli and Saudi governments have been at work to come up with the next Stuxnet version with the same aim: Disrupt nuclear program of the rogue nation. This has come about as a result of the meeting between the two governments last week in Vienna. How has this come about? It looks as though the two nations are miffed with the U.S., Russia, Germany, France and the U.K. for getting relatively cozy with Iran and strike a deal with it.
FARS or Farce
However, the idea can only be taken with a pinch of salt since it is the FARS news agency of Iran that has come up with this news. But, given that Israel and Saudi Arabia have their own grudges against Iran; it is possible that the two have joined hands to inflict whatever damage on the common enemy. FARS claims it is privy to some Saudi secret service source through which the plan came to their knowledge. The budget allocation is said to be in the range of $1 million.
As is to be expected, the two countries involved in this sabotage activity are not very transparent about it all. In fact, it should be infuriating to them that this obvious top secret project should be public knowledge now. Not that they are going to be discouraged in any way not to go further ahead and develop Stuxnet 2. One interesting question that one would die to get an answer to is where the U.S. stands in all this!
Equally importantly, what action is Iran likely to embark upon? Will it carry out some sabotage of its own to scuttle Stuxnet 2? Can it do it with its not-very-efficient intelligence gathering efforts? One can, however, speculate that Iran will not any more disclose the details of the Israeli-Saudi plan if it gets wind of it thereby jeopardizing its own counter-sabotage efforts.
Jenny Corteza is the branding manager and online reputation strategist for Bike Attack. She always had a thing for biking. As soon as she got the opportunity of working on a similar brand, she grabbed it with both her hands and loves every bit of it.