ALEX GIBNEY — ZERO DAYS WORLD WAR 3.0–2016
This documentary is a masterpiece for one single reason: it reveals something that has been and still is brewing in the wings of many governments and that can lead to a nuclear war directly from cyberspace, without being able to trace the starting point, hence the attacker without information from inside the circle that started it. And when the cyber virus or hostile program or simply malware is active where it is supposed to cause harm it is impossible to stop it. Imagine such a beast in the nuclear “defense” of the nuclear powers in this world.
The particular malware used in this case is Flame first as a precursor and then Stuxnet, code name Olympic Games. The target was Iran in 2010–2011, their centrifuges enriching uranium, and the objective was to make these centrifuges misbehave causing their self-destruction. This Stuxnet was also an artificial intelligence malware since it could circulate in a cyber-system till it could find its target, it could install itself in that target, observe for a while after upgrading itself from the Internet, then determine the moment it becomes active and starts sabotaging its target. The most vicious part of it is that it sends to the various controlling systems and units messages of everything being normal as usual. When the controllers find out something is wrong because of their observation of a misbehavior or misconduct of the machines targeted by the malware, it is too late. It is also clear this malware can attack some equipment, like a nuclear plant and cause a tremendous catastrophe and a great number of casualties.
Today we can say who did it because someone from inside decided, when they realized they were on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe that could have been hundreds of times worse than Chernobyl, to leak the program onto the Internet and then to leak some details to the director of this documentary a couple of years later.
The covert operation against Iran was conducted under Obama and with his consent, a least his more or less passive consent. He will sign an executive order after the fiasco of the operation imposing the responsible services to require and obtain the President’s approval, just the same way as for nuclear weapons. The accomplice who was probably a lot more than just a second fiddle, rather the first lead violin or guitar if not the whole orchestra with Obama as the solo tenor, the accomplice was Israel and its Mossad. To know the grim picture of this Mossad, just watch some episodes of NCIS in which it is more than present, actually lethally present. They are specialists of covert twisted and perverse operations that they consider as normal since it is only gathering vital intelligence for Israel and cleaning up the plate afterwards by killing all informers to leave no witnesses behind. NCIS is not a documentary and this vision is maybe slightly excessive but the plan behind Stuxnet was covert twisted and perverse.
The objective was to destroy the nuclear facilities of Iran by making the centrifuges explode. That would have blown up and out tremendous quantities of radioactive uranium, killed many people in the facility and around it, irradiated probably millions of people in Iran and then it would have spread like a cloud all over the world. Covert, twisted, perverse AND LETHAL. This malware was a potential Weapon of Mass Destruction. The only defense of Obama in this situation is that he had inherited the baby from George W. Bush and he was not informed in due time and before it was actually going. We can even think that if it had not been leaked out onto the Internet in a way we cannot know it would not have been stopped. The New York Times says the malware was by some accident downloaded onto the personal work station of some worker in the Iranian nuclear facility and from there it jumped onto the Internet. But then the Iranians knew and they protected the facility. Only a small proportion of the centrifuges were disturbed and had to be taken care of. It slowed down Iran’s progress in their nuclear program, but after the event Iran caught up with a vengeance.
The documentary then explains how the Iranians decided to launch two cyberattacks onto the USA, particularly their banks to show them that if the USA can do it, Iran and many other people can do it too. Such cyberattacks can be absolutely anonymous, untraceable and yet the Iranians made them traceable so that the USA could get the message. Obama got it. He signed the executive order I have already mentioned and he started moving towards a diplomatic treatment of the situation after the second election. Israel and their Prime Minister were furious and rejected in the United Nations the Iranian deal. But I guess Obama was furious enough to have been manipulated to keep some cool distrust and distance towards the Israeli Prime Minister known as BIBI.
But you must understand that we know about it, and we are still here to know about it because it failed because of a leak. But any US President can use such technological malware to destroy someone, some country he or she considers an “adversary” as the US Coast Guard says so well in its latest Cyber Strategy report (June 2015). When you read this report you find out the US Coast Guard is central in the fight against cybercrime in their domain (protection of the USA by protecting the oceans, ports and harbors, rivers and lakes) and that the objective is not only defensive. It is worded in such a way that the expert hackers they recruit or hire are supposed to “defend Cyberspace, enable operations and protect infrastructure.” Cyberspace is in no way a national reality; It is a global reality that evades control and protection within the borders of any particular country. The USA and the US Coast Guard have no international mission entrusted to them by the international community to “defend cyberspace.” They should be at the spearhead of an international collective action to defend cyberspace for everyone with everyone because, as Lincoln would say, we are dealing here with the cyberspace of humanity, for humanity and by humanity. The US Coast Guard will of course say that “operations” are only the operations of harbors, ports, rivers, Maritime Transportation System (MTS). But the word can have a wider understanding than that and it could cover all operations necessary for the Maritime Transportation System to function without any “problem” and since the best defense is to attack, the best way to protect yourself against cyber malware is to attack those who stand in your way in any fashion you can imagine and that bother you.
Right now the President of the USA is confronted to North Korea and their nuclear ambition. Who can say he will not impulsively start some kind of cyber war against North Korea or China or whatever? What is surprising is that Russia supposedly meddled with the US Presidential election from Cyberspace and supposedly the FBI, CIA, DHS and DoD have the proof that meddling came from Russia, and what’s more from the Russian government. The Russians are known to be phenomenal hackers and computing technicians, engineers and scientists. If they left behind something that identifies them, it is because they wanted to be identified. What is the objective? Destroy Trump? Isolate him? Create chaos in Congress and the USA? Bring Trump to the brink of nuclear war? To wake up the world that this man is able to impulsively jump into the abyss? Maybe a little bit of them all! And maybe even some more political considerations. And who did the Russians inform and coordinate their “careless” action with? In this world three countries are the victims of sanctions: Iran, Russia and North Korea. How long will it last without going boom? The three countries are proving very resilient. The Russians supposedly helped get Clinton down. That was easy she was not enthusing her supporters with a vision because she did not have a vision. They supposedly managed both executive and legislative power, and now judicial power, to be going in one single direction and they knew that situation would make the Republicans so vain and divided that they would run into the brick wall and smite their brains out. That’s exactly what they are doing, our Republicans. How long indeed are there going to last? And if they become too anxious about the future, how long will they try to keep their president within some decent limits before he presses on a button of any type like in Syria or in Afghanistan. “In eight weeks we have done more than in the eight years before us.” Vanitas vanitatum, omnis vanitas!”
So get this documentary that was produced under Obama and before Trump, and reflect seriously on the blind alley in which we are and start leaking all the secrets you may know. One of these secrets might save the world.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU