Monday, June 25, 2012

"A Weapon We Can’t Control"

I've written on Stuxnet five times and mentioned it once on this blog. I was appalled at the first news of Stuxnet I came across, not simply because of the virus' power, but because it appeared that Stuxnet was created by the United States or Israel or both. Most importantly, when a computer virus is let loose on the world, it becomes available to bad actors who can modify it for their own purposes. It's almost as if the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki gave would-be bomb builders 98% of everything they needed to build their own a-bombs.

The author of this op-ed piece, Misha Glenny (New York Times, June 24, 2012), observes:
There is no international treaty or agreement restricting the use of cyberweapons, which can do anything from controlling an individual laptop to disrupting an entire country's critical telecommunications or banking infrastructure. It is in the United States' interest to push for one before the monster it has unleashed comes home to roost.        
We might be headed toward a new Cold War in which mutual destruction can be triggered by any one of thousands of sophisticated programmers. To me, this is just as scary as the previous cold war, in part because it's much more complicated. A treaty would not be a complete solution, but it would be a valuable tool.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

No comments: