Obama Ordered The "Code Stux"

Tyler Durden's picture


When Iran's nuclear facilities were publicly crippled in 2011 by what then was considered a revolutionary computer virus which destroys physical equipment, many immediately assumed the virus originated in Israel for obvious reasons. They were wrong. In what can be described as the first presidentially-mandated and condoned act of cyberwarfare, one circumventing the War Powers Act of course, the NYT informs us that the order to physically impair Iranian sovereignty came from none other than the Nobel Peace prize winning president: Barack Obama.

From the NYT:

From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.


Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks - begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games - even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran's Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.


At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm's "escape," Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America's most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran's nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.


"Should we shut this thing down?" Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president's national security team who were in the room.


Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.


This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

For those confused - yes: this is an act of war. A New Normal war.

It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country's infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives. The code itself is 50 times as big as the typical computer worm, Carey Nachenberg, a vice president of Symantec, one of the many groups that have dissected the code, said at a symposium at Stanford University in April. Those forensic investigations into the inner workings of the code, while picking apart how it worked, came to no conclusions about who was responsible.

And still America continues to wage war, subverting the constitution, without any Congressional approval, and without even telling the population what is really happening. Because it is "for its own good."

A similar process is now under way to figure out the origins of another cyberweapon called Flame that was recently discovered to have attacked the computers of Iranian officials, sweeping up information from those machines. But the computer code appears to be at least five years old, and American officials say that it was not part of Olympic Games. They have declined to say whether the United States was responsible for the Flame attack.

The "New Normal Gulf of Tonkin":

Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons - even under the most careful and limited circumstances - could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.


"We discussed the irony, more than once," one of his aides said. Another said that the administration was resistant to developing a "grand theory for a weapon whose possibilities they were still discovering." Yet Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.


If Olympic Games failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work. Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region.

Some call it irony, others collateral damage where people lose everything, including their lives. Semantics.

Remember though: they hate America for its freedoms.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly told his aides that there are risks to using - and particularly to overusing - the weapon. In fact, no country's infrastructure is more dependent on computer systems, and thus more vulnerable to attack, than that of the United States. It is only a matter of time, most experts believe, before it becomes the target of the same kind of weapon that the Americans have used, secretly, against Iran.

And it will be a shock, SHOCK  when the world retaliates against America.

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Fri, 06/01/2012 - 13:07 | 2484736 Seize Mars
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Fri, 06/01/2012 - 14:35 | 2485264 DosZap
DosZap's picture

This guy needs to resign.

Believe me, HE is gonna do his damndest to re-sign.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:02 | 2484146 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Political assylum requests to North Korea fall off the cliff !    Monedas   1929     Comedy Jihad Stux Reflux

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:03 | 2484147 pods
pods's picture

You have got to be shitting me.  Another f*#@# war?!

So we are killing their scientists too?


Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:02 | 2484149 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Real smart.  Now Iran will develop its own automation controllers further building their capabilities.


Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:03 | 2484150 phat ho
phat ho's picture

Interesting talk on the "rheams" talk radio show last night about drones and unintended precedent it is setting for them to be used against us. oooh la la

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:12 | 2484222 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

I concur. So long as we maintain air superiority, it's not really an issue for the homeland right now.


Once "they" are able to evade our air power, then look out below  

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:04 | 2484155 time2blowitup
time2blowitup's picture

Different topic but, can we please get a deer in the headligths photo today?!

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:03 | 2484157 Dr. Crime
Dr. Crime's picture

This is news only because elections are this fall and someone needs to convince people they are hawkish.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:05 | 2484167 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

This is news only because NFP took 3 points off his polling today.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:16 | 2484254 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

if i say i wrote stuxnet, can i get some change?

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:04 | 2484158 ArrestBobRubin
ArrestBobRubin's picture

The thing with being a Front Man...

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:03 | 2484159 Sturm und Drang
Sturm und Drang's picture

This has the credibility of a Hawaiian birth certificate.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:04 | 2484162 mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

send out the call for major knong..lolhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlSQAZEp3PA

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:14 | 2484165 web bot
web bot's picture

Liberals always want to smear the right as a bunch of extremist-gun-touting cowboys who flaunt the law. The actions of the Kenyian, ahem Keynesian, ahem... Ken(s)yian President shows otherwise.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:14 | 2484237 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

The NeoCons won.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:05 | 2484173 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

The world is now in foreclosure. The masses ignorant. The power in the hands of a few. Soon the slaughter will begin.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:07 | 2484193 TrulyStupid
TrulyStupid's picture

Begin ?

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:18 | 2484267 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

It's only small scale at the moment. Test markets. 

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:44 | 2484391 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

Also why the fuck is everyone so upset with Obama? The preidents seat has been vacant for only the last 175 years.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:05 | 2484174 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

Isn't this an act of war? and if there was a retaliation from the Iranians they would be wrong?

Seriously why go public with this, other than to provoke a response....seems like desperation to me








Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:05 | 2484177 phat ho
phat ho's picture


Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:06 | 2484178 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Better have your bank records mailed to you on an annual basis. Nothing like not being able to access your 1s and 0s because of a cyber attack. A bank is not going to just help you recover your money. Try getting a faulty ATM transaction repaired. It takes weeks.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:17 | 2484256 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

What's an ATM, something else I don't need.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:06 | 2484181 brooklynlou
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Thats why he won the Nobel Peace prize. Bush would have bombed them, flew into Iran in his fighter plane, personally pissed on the crater hole, fly back to Iraq to make Turkey sandwiches for the troops, declare "Job Done", then flew back in time to scold the twins for getting drunk at Spring Break.

All that Obama does is email them an infected Word document and acts all high and mighty ...

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:06 | 2484182 carguym14
carguym14's picture

Makes me wonder if we had anything to do with some of Irans scientists getting expired......

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:06 | 2484183 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I wonder what he has done to the rest of us.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:15 | 2484243 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Who cares, he knows what is best, right?  What amazes me is how did I manage the first 45 years of my lfie without this prick making all my decisions for me.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 14:44 | 2485305 DosZap
DosZap's picture

I wonder what he has done to the rest of us.

Read much?

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:06 | 2484192 Father Lucifer
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If you BTFD today IFKY (I'll fuckin kill you).

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:07 | 2484194 Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

Letting an undocumented alien run the show was bound to have unforeseen problems. What's next, war with China just because he can?

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:34 | 2484360 pods
pods's picture

Nope.  After they lobbed a missile from our doorstep we backed the fuck off on them.


Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:08 | 2484203 Bones265
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Job growth for America. Hackers working for the DOD!

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:37 | 2484206 Mercury
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And it will be a shock, SHOCK  when the world retaliates against America.

I suppose but in this area that's inevitable given the state of technology and therefore this Stux thing will ultimately look like a chicken-or-the-egg type event in hindsight.

It would take a real leap of faith to believe that absent Obama's actions China, Russia or someone else wouldn't be attempting the same on the US if they haven’t been already.

 There are certainly precedents in history where one state has manipulated, planted or intercepted information that caused physical damage to another state that it was not officially at war with.

 Hell, if Roosevelt were in his 20th term he probably would have sold the Iranians some of our older nukes – secretly rigged up Trojan Horse style.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:10 | 2484210 Cursive
Cursive's picture

This is the same Obama administration that is pimping the "Smartgrid" to enrich GE. Dark times ahead, literally.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:33 | 2484349 LoneCapitalist
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Just think what an unencumbered Obama might do after election, lame duck or not.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:11 | 2484214 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

"begun in the Bush administration"


It's Obama's new election slogan...Everything I've done was begun in the Bush administration!

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:22 | 2484288 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Pretty much

I said when BushCo got all those Executive Powers that Pandoras Box had been opened on the removal of Freedom in America. No President is going to give back or not use those powers and even more will be added in the future.  You can fill in the blank as far as whoever the President is, Congress has sold the American People out.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:25 | 2484298 PivotalTrades
PivotalTrades's picture

We should have just given GW another 4 years

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 13:34 | 2484926 brooklynlou
brooklynlou's picture

Obama is Bush in disguise ...

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:12 | 2484215 dbomb12
dbomb12's picture

Just in case you forgot "FOLKS" Obama killed Osama

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:22 | 2484286 De minimus
De minimus's picture


"Unless something positive happens, I'm going to lose the election..." "Hey, I know, I'll just lie and all my friends will help me!" Problem solved.

But what do I say about the economy? Hey, I know, I'll just lie and all my friends will help me!" Problem solved.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:25 | 2484299 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Murdered, you mean.  Osama was never charged with anything.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 12:17 | 2484532 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Other than a dialysis machine.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 12:29 | 2484579 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

When do you suppose those charges should have been filed?

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 12:43 | 2484622 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Just in case you forgot "FOLKS" Obama killed Osama.




Since inflection is difficult via text, I'll just say that was stated with the utmost derision.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:12 | 2484221 phat ho
phat ho's picture

at least he waited till june!!??

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:12 | 2484228 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Right. Blame it on Obama. I guess he's the president, so he has to be the fall guy.

Yeah, okay. And GWB was "The Decider".

"After some thought, sir, I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to purchase your oceanfront property in Arizona, sight-unseen. At the highest price."

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:13 | 2484230 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

One has to wonder why the urgency and persistence given the lack of evidence of any intent on the part of any countries in the middle east to attack the US people. The obvious and yet unconventional answer is that the government somehow KNOWS something about future events that it will not tell us (knowing the future through whatever means would incite questions that they do not want to answer)... and is reacting to change those future events.

I mean seriously, the people in charge are otherwise acting so completely irrationally (and evily) and coming up with the most bogus of excuses ... passing off lies so big, that people do not dare challenege them for fear of learning a truth too horrible to imagine.

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 11:29 | 2484323 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Not just the US, but China and Russia as well.  Understandably they will not be easily pushed around, but it does seem that all these super powers are in a mad-dash to secure as many natural resources as possible.  Granted, any government (and people) in history has always strived to retain and control the fruits of the earth, but it has never seemed so rushed before, as if they know time is running out... 

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