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Friday, October 01, 2010

Operation Myrtus?

So does this mean that Israel is behind the Stuxnet worm or that someone else is trying to throw investigators off the track?
Deep inside the computer worm that some specialists suspect is aimed at slowing Iran’s race for a nuclear weapon lies what could be a fleeting reference to the Book of Esther, the Old Testament tale in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them.

That use of the word “Myrtus” — which can be read as an allusion to Esther — to name a file inside the code is one of several murky clues that have emerged as computer experts try to trace the origin and purpose of the rogue Stuxnet program, which seeks out a specific kind of command module for industrial equipment.

Not surprisingly, the Israelis are not saying whether Stuxnet has any connection to the secretive cyberwar unit it has built inside Israel’s intelligence service. Nor is the Obama administration, which while talking about cyberdefenses has also rapidly ramped up a broad covert program, inherited from the Bush administration, to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. In interviews in several countries, experts in both cyberwar and nuclear enrichment technology say the Stuxnet mystery may never be solved.

There are many competing explanations for myrtus, which could simply signify myrtle, a plant important to many cultures in the region. But some security experts see the reference as a signature allusion to Esther, a clear warning in a mounting technological and psychological battle as Israel and its allies try to breach Tehran’s most heavily guarded project. Others doubt the Israelis were involved and say the word could have been inserted as deliberate misinformation, to implicate Israel.
I would bet on some clever Israeli officer in the intelligence unit having made that decision, but read the whole thing and decide for yourselves.


At 9:22 AM, Blogger tuleesh said...

Excellent! If not "someone," then it's good that something is out to stop ImaWhackJob and the MadMullahs of Teheran from completing their diabolical nuclear plans.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Hadassah means "myrtle" in Hebrew. It is Esther's given Hebrew name.

I wonder if that is growing on the Iranians.

History has a way of coming full circle in the Middle East.


At 4:42 PM, Blogger tuleesh said...

NormanF @ 9:30 AM, brilliant observation.
“Heh,” indeed.

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...

I don't care if Costa Rica or Singapore is behind it. It is good that someone is apparently wagin cyber war on this savage regime.


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