Expert on Stuxnet, Cyberwarfare Aimed at Industry, Points Out Links to German Firm in ‘Spies Against Armageddon’

There is a burgeoning industry in trying to trace the beginnings of a new phenomenon in international conflict: cyberwarfare.  Ralph Langner, a German expert in security for industrial systems, has an active blog that discusses a broad range of intriguing clues: Who launched the first significant attack on a foreign country’s mechanized control systems, and how did they do it?  Here’s what Langner writes:

spies against armageddonIn a new book titled Spies against ArmageddonDan Raviv and Yossi Melman report some previously unknown details about Operation Olympic Games. The authors support David Sanger’s reporting that Siemens built the complex instrumentation and control systems in Natanz (and, as an aside, also acknowledge the role of INL in Stuxnet’s development). However, different from Confront and Conceal, Raviv and Melman report that Siemens cooperated with Israel and the US in the development of the worm in an arrangement facilitated by the German BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst). Quote: “The directors of Siemens may have felt pangs of conscience, or were simply reacting to public pressure, as newspapers pointed out that it was Iran’s largest trading partner in Germany.” (Page 10)

If Raviv and Melman are correct, it would support our hypothesis from Oct 7, 2010 that the United States and Israel didn’t act alone but with the help of a Third Man – with German nationality. It’s not very difficult to imagine that the German government might have given the Munich-based corporation some incentive and legal immunity for helping to cripple the very same systems that they reportedly had installed and maintained for the Islamic Republic. For decades, Siemens enjoyed an intimate relationship with the BND simply because of their telecommunications business. A conscious involvement in the operation could also explain the bizarre tidbit that back in August 2010, Siemens’ top management gave direct order to the company’s own CERT to stop analyzing Stuxnet.

As a side note, the fact that considerable detail on this operation of historical proportions was leaked can now be explained easier by keeping in mind how many different organizations were involved: Pentagon, NSA, CIA, US Department of Energy (INL, ORNL), HaMossad, Aman (Israel Defence Force Intelligence Service), BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), plus employees of a private company (Siemens). Our earlier estimate that around fifty people would have been involved now appears like a gross miscalculation.

Credits to Larry Constantine for pointing out Spies against Armageddon.

August 4, 2012

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