Monday, January 17, 2011

Stuxnet and me

Computers. These days they’re on my mind. Indeed,they’re preoccupying it. And, like most topics I put my mind to, the more I delve, the less I understand. Also I’m fully aware that, delve as I do, delve as I must, I no more than scratch the surface of the world’s computer (and computing) knowledge base. If that. I don’t know if there’s a word signifying a person whose computer knowledge is, at most, a tad above zero. But if so, then that’s me. Set against this background, for months now I’ve been intrigued by the Stuxnet worm [1]. This article in last Friday’s Jerusalem Post article summarises the latest about Stuxnet [2]. It says Stuxnet’s a vehicle of cyberwarfare. Almost certainly its target’s Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. And it’s so sophisticated it likely came from one or more governments. Cyberwarfare’s a smart way of achieving strategic objectives. Because compared with conventional warfare it’s inexpensive in financial terms, and it doesn’t expose soldiers and civilians to physical risk. Of course it can be responded to by cyber-retaliation. And/or, perhaps less likely but not impossibly, physical retaliation. If so, that’ll probably be met with more cyber-retaliation – likely with vehicles more sophisticated and devastating than Stuxnet. As new Stuxnet developments and theories emerge, I become more intrigued. But, WikiLeaks notwithstanding, I doubt the whole Stuxnet story will ever reach the public domain. Why should it? And who’d fully understand it? Ho hum.

1 comment:

Geoffrey Brittan said...

I hope you are enjoying your new computer. Modesty prevents you from telling us about your new machine, but I imagine that it is faster and more pleasurable to use than the previous one.

Don't be too hard on yourself for not understanding the technology as much as you might like. Like you, I don't understand what is under the bonnet. I think that it is more important to focus on use and function.