The Early Worm Gives The Bird
Vol: 111 Issue: 20 Monday, December 20, 2010
While nobody was looking, Iran’s nuclear facilities were attacked and disabled by somebody. It could have been Israel. It could have been the United States. It could have been the Europeans or the Russians.
Maybe all of them. Or not. Who can say? But they did a bang up job.
It puts me in mind of a scene from the war movie, “Force 10 from Navarone” where the plot calls for the good guys to blow up a dam held by the Nazi bad guys.
They set the charges and manage to get safely out and to a safe distance. The pyrotechnics go off, but then nothing happens. The dam remains untouched.
The clever demolitions expert sits calmly while the rest of the team panic, fearing they failed in their mission. “Wait for it,” says the clever demolitions expert.
Then there is a little rumble off in the distance. The dam springs a little leak that widens and gets bigger and ultimately splits the dam, destroying it (and incidentally reminding me how primitive special effects still were in 1978.)
Anyway, that is what the Stuxnet worm/virus reminds me of. The little rumble that could.
The Stuxnet worm is a Windows-specific malware package that was first discovered in July 2010 by a security firm based in Belarus.
It was designed specifically to spy on and then reprogram industrial control and data acquisition systems designed by the German computer giant, Siemens. And all of Iran’s control and data acquisition systems were manufactured by Siemens.
Stuxnet is capable of reprogramming these systems and then hiding the changes made. So even if they clean the worm, they can’t fix what it did.
In early November, Iran’s Vice President Ali Akbar denied that the computer worm had done any harm to the country’s nuclear program.
“Mooohahahaha, you stupid Zionists and Crusaders failed with your stupid and ineffective Western infidel worm,” he said. “Curse your mustaches!” (He didn’t say that, really. I made it up. But what he really said sounded that silly, too. )
Salehi issued his denial the day after diplomats told The Associated Press in Vienna that Iran’s nuclear program has suffered a recent setback, with major technical problems forcing the temporary shutdown of thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium.
“Did not!” Salehi said on November 23.
“Well, maybe just a little,” admitted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on November 29. “Software installed in electronic equipment disabled some of our centrifuges on a limited basis, but our brilliant and capable experts have stopped that and they won’t be able to do it again.”
Iranian officials up and down the chain of command took turns denying that Iran’s nuclear program was harmed by Stuxnet and that they were forced to stop enrichment.
They just stopped because they . . . well they just stopped. And now they just want to talk. Ok?
A German computer consultant who was among the first to analyze the Stuxnet code said that not only is Stuxnet not under control, it is still spreading and infecting their enrichment facilities at Natanz and the reactor at Bushehr.
What has happened so far is just the first few leaks starting to spurt out of the Navarone Dam.
Stuxnet expert Ralph Langer called the attack “nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there were no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective,” he said, “this was a huge success.”
How huge? He said that the Iranian program has been set back by at least two years. Langer’s recommended remedy for getting rid of Stuxnet is to throw out every infected system. Just throw out every one of them and start over from scratch!
And even then, he said, the risk of reinfection by outside contractors was high.
“It is extremely difficult to clean up installations from Stuxnet, and we know that Iran is no good in IT [information technology] security, and they are just beginning to learn what this all means,” he said.
“Just to get their systems running again they have to get rid of the virus, and this will take time, and then they need to replace the equipment, and they have to rebuild the centrifuges at Natanz and possibly buy a new turbine for Bushehr.”
Langer said that in his opinion, the Stuxnet virus could not have been written by a hacker.
“We can say that it must have taken several years to develop, and we arrived at this conclusion through code analysis, since the code on the control systems is 15,000 lines of code, and this is a huge amount,” Langer said.
“This piece of evidence led us to conclude that this is not by a hacker,” he continued. “It had to be a country, and we can also conclude that even one nation-state would not have been able to do this on its own.”
Wow. Whoever wrote the code, it appears that Stuxnet worked. At least for now. What it portends for the future of information warfare as the law of unintended consequences goes into effect is yet to be seen, but it doesn’t bode well for Iran’s nuclear future.
A nuclear Iran at this point on the Bible prophecy timeline doesn’t fit. The Bible forecasts what appear to be two separate conflicts in the Middle East during the last days that appear to involve some kind of nuclear weaponry.
The first is the conflict forecast in Psalms 83, Isaiah 17 and Obadiah. This conflict is between Jacob and Esau. All the participants are descendants of these two Biblical patriarchs.
Obadiah prophesies; “they of the south [the southern Kingdom of Judah – the Jews] shall possess the mountains of Esau; [The West Bank] and they of the lowlands the Philistines: [The Gaza Strip] and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, [Judea] and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. [the Galilee.]”
Isaiah 17:14 records the burden of Damascus (Syria) this way: “And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not.”
Psalms 83 identifies most of the rest of the combatants including Lebanon and Jordan. None of these nations survive the conflict intact, according to Bible prophecy. (Except Israel.)
If Iran obtained a nuke, it seems probable that Iran would use it. Indeed, if a nuclear Iran took a direct hand in the developing regional war with the Arabs, Israel would be forced into a nuclear first strike on Iran.
But Ezekiel says that Iran is numbered among the principle allies of Gog and Magog. That is a different conflict, and probably one that will occur after the Rapture, whereas I believe the conflict with Esau is probably pre-Trib.
What I want to highlight here is the minute attention to detail involved here. Four separate prophecies written by four different prophets at different times in different places and in different contexts.
And yet they are so precisely interconnected that all the various players are now come together thousands of years later — in a single generation out of time! — allied exactly as predicted, to settle the same unresolved score still outstanding since Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
Iran is not part of that conflict. Iranians are Persians, not Arabs. None of the Arab countries are part of the Gog alliance and none of the Russian/Persian alliance are part of the Arab war.
It might not make much difference politically, but it does prophetically. It says that no matter how it might look to us as it all unfolds, it will ultimately play out the way God said it would.
He is the one that says, “Trust Me.” It is this kind of attention to detail that proves that we can.