The super worm known as Stuxnet was but a cog in an active US war program in which hundreds of thousands of network implants and backdoors in Iran networks were actively maintained to facilitate a devastating barrage of hacking attacks, a documentary claims.
Zero Days, due to screen at the Berlin Film
Festival today, claims that Stuxnet was just one part of an operation
called "Olympic Games" that is itself part of a wider effort dubbed
"Nitro Zeus" that involves hundreds of US defence personnel.
Nitro Zeus may also involve Israel, the film alleges.
Reports from those who've seen or been briefed on the
film suggest it alleges that Stuxnet's authors attempted to keep the
program covert by restricting the malware to infect only Iranian
Forte Mead hackers worked furiously to mop-up infected computers after a leak became apparent.
Israeli counterparts reportedly screwed the pooch
when they later unleashed a more aggressive and noisier version of
Stuxnet that infected thousands of computers across more than 115
The worm was soon discovered in 2010 and promptly analysed - and gaped at askance - by the security industry and media.
The film asserts that Stuxnet contained four zero day
vulnerabilities and was precision-designed for the Natanz facility
using intelligence supplied by Britain's GCHQ.
It is not stated in the documentary whether the GCHQ
had knowledge of Nitro Zeus, a fact that could breach national laws
regarding use of intelligence material in that country.
US State Department and National Security Agency
officials expressed concern over the likelihood that Nitro Zeus would
devastate civilian infrastructure.
One unnamed source said Nitro Zeus planners had "no f**king clue" regarding the potential impacts of the attacks.
Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden says while
he had no knowledge of Nitro Zeus the program has prematurely
legitimised state-backed network centric warfare before rules of
engagement could be agreed.