back to article Cyberwar playbook says Stuxnet may have been 'armed attack'

The Stuxnet attack on Iran was an illegal "act of force", according to at least some of the legal experts who helped draw up a NATO-commissioned Geneva Convention-style rules of cyberwarfare document. "Acts that kill or injure persons or destroy or damage objects are unambiguously uses of force," and are likely to violate …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Is Uncle Sam a signatory, or a pariah party?

    The manual is far clearer in comparing hackers-for-hire to mercenaries who "do not enjoy combat immunity or prisoner of war status" (rule 28).

    FFS, puppets for hire by those who are not signatories of/parties abiding by the Geneva Convention would say that, wouldn't they.

    Don't forget, rules are for tools which are easily fooled and for fools who are easily tooled to do exactly as they are told .... like little idiot robot automatons. Cyberspace is the preserve and domain of intelligent beings who think for themselves and can keep you right by pointing out just exactly where you are going wrong again and again and again, for one has to admit to oneself surely, Man is an exceedingly slow-learner and may even be classified as somewhat retarded in many learned respects.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Economic sanctions and the ban from the Swift clearing system are also an act of war, as they are a blockade. Nothing will stop them, even if Iran gets the bomb - look at how they stepped up the aggression against North Korea.

    1. Bumpy Cat

      "Aggression against North Korea"?

      Could you clarify that statement? All I've seen is international sanctions agreed to by the UN Security Council, including North Korea's close ally China. In what way does that constitute aggression? Bear in mind that North Korea has in the last couple of years, unprovoked, sunk a ship (killing 46 people) and bombarded an island (killing 4 people), and now they talk about cancelling the UN truce agreement. It seems to me that all the aggression is coming from North Korea.

  3. envmod

    who the hell cares?

    not me.

  4. kyza

    Tell me when a bunch of goth hackers, an ex-general, ninja girl and burnout hacker cause a riot outside the Time Warner building in NY.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Dan Paul

    Eff them all and let God sort it out

    Forgive me, but I really could care less about whether we damaged Irans centrifuges with Stuxnet. Better that than full out Thermonuclear War.

    Iran putting together a nuclear program for peaceful purposes is a smokescreen and always has been. Anyone who believes them is on a par with those who call Stuxnet and "Illegal act of force".

    Let me see, how do you get the attention of a whole religion/culture whose leaders clearly call for the deaths of all Infidels (that's you and me BTW) ??? Tickle them with feathers until they give up???

    What delusional douchebags, so is creating and refining weapons grade uranium (not needed for power plants) or it at least proves malicious intent to kill!

    BTW Stop kidding yourselves, Iran already HAS Nuclear weapons, they ALREADY bought/stole them from the Pakistani's, Russian's or Chinese. They just can't tip their hand ...YET!

    1. Irk

      Re: Eff them all and let God sort it out

      You could care less? A lot less? Then that means you might care a great deal!

    2. elderlybloke

      Re: Eff them all and let God sort it out


      You are George Bush (of Iraq/Afghanistan) Mark2.

  7. Ralph B

    Defence Doublespeak

    I just hope that Anticipatory Self Defence never meets up with Mutually Assured Destruction.

    They'll get on like a house on fire.

    1. Allan George Dyer

      Re: Defence Doublespeak

      "He looked like he was gonna punch me, so I nuked him!"

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: Defence Doublespeak

        Sometimes a pre-emptive strike IS the best way to handle countries like Iran because FAR more people will die from Iran using a Nuclear weapon than will die from the Stuxnet strike. Better that it come from some faceless virus than actual bombing missions. The Iranian government does not listen to reason and neither does North Korea.

        Israel has been ready send in the bombers for a long time and we have stayed their hand repeatedly.

        Do the math... Iran plus Israel equals World War Three. Suddenly, the whole middle east is on fire at the same moment and there will not be time for the niceties of computer combat or rules of engagement.

        The Russians will jump in, then US and NATO, then we can write off the Middle East for say 10,000 years, along with the remnants of the World Economy. For fun, let's just add North Korea into the mix. Now China will want to support the North Koreans and there goes the whole planet.

        Let me fix your statement, "Iran was building nukes to blow up or poison the Western World so we dropped USB drives in their parking lots with lots of porn (with viruses in them) and blew up their centrifuges".

        1. url

          Re: Defence Doublespeak

          America! America!

          America! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Comin' again to save the motherfuckin day yeah!

          America! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Freedom is the only way, yeah!

          Terrorists your game is through,

          cause now you have to answer to...

          America! (Fuck Yeah!)

          So lick my butt and suck on my balls!

          America (Fuck Yeah!)

          Whatcha gonna do when we come for you, now!

          It's the dream that we all share...

          Its the hope for tommorrow...

          (Fuck Yeah!)

          Mcdonalds! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Wal-Mart! (Fuck Yeah!)

          The Gap! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Baseball! (Fuck Yeah!)

          NFL! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Rock n' Roll! (Fuck Yeah!)

          The Internet! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Slavery! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Fuck Yeah!

          Starbucks! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Disney World! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Porno! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Valium! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Reeboks! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Fake Tits! (Fuck Yeah)

          Sushi! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Taco Bell! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Rodeos! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Bed Bath and Beyond! (...fuck yeah...)

          Liberty! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Wax Lips! (Fuck Yeah!)

          The Alamo! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Band-Aids! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Las Vegas! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Christmas! (Fuck Yeah!)

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          Pop Eye! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Democrats! (Fuck Yeah!)

          Republicans! (...fuck yeah...)




        2. Allan George Dyer

          Re: Defence Doublespeak

          That's a fix? I was thinking it might be closer to, "He dropped a USB drive in our carpark, so we nuked his country". If a cyberattack is an armed attack, then armed retaliation is justified, right? And dropping a USB drive could never be an accident, right? We just prevented cyber-Armageddon, right? Your own choice of nationality for the USB dropper and the carpark, it works either way.

          Stuxnet looks like a good result, but we were told Iraq had chemical weapons, so there might be a tiny bit of unreliable information floating about, you know?

  8. Tom_

    Llap Goch

    I'm sure Monty Python did a better version of these kinds of rules back in the 70s.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    It's called...

    ...cyber-war for a reason.

  10. Local G

    Anything goes.

    Just don't get caught.

    (The US can get caught and nothing will happen to it because it's el supremo.)

  11. Nightkiller

    As if the UN is relevant

    The UN is more irrelevant than ever, hamstrung by voting blocks of conflicting ideologies working at cross purposes. The most you can hope for from these guys is another report about something wrong somewhere. Most recently, it was the French who had to intervene in Mali on behalf of the UN because it would have been months before any of the African states tagged by the UN to do the job could get their act together.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the contrary

    Preventing nuclear war saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

  13. Allan George Dyer
    Paris Hilton

    Zombie Cleanup

    Does anyone trust a grunt with a drone to correctly tell the difference between a hacker behind a cyberattack (who can legally be targeted with lethal force when there is open conflict) and a user with a zombie-infected PC? No?

    Time to make sure your PC is clean.

  14. druck Silver badge

    Attack one way or another

    Call it an attack if you like, but stuxnet is probably the reason why an attack in the real world by Isreali aircraft hasn't yet taken place, with all the ramifications that would entail.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Eff them all and let God sort it out

    --> Let me see, how do you get the attention of a whole religion/culture whose leaders clearly call for the deaths of all Infidels (that's you and me BTW) ??? Tickle them with feathers until they give up???

    You mean theint spiritual leader who succeeded the ayotollah - put in by the the west ? or Sadam whos uncle was put in by the West ?

    Just look at the history of the middle east - in the 1950's 60s they had been changing to the western way of living, due to oil the West got itself mixed in with the middleast and so the wars were started - their result/outcome/sanctions all based on how much free oil they could give to the west to be armed to to survive accordingly.

    so please don't sit there like some inncocent western world member and blame the mess in the middle east on some religious nutters, since its the west who pushed these nutters in to place to squeeze the oil whilst it lasts

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Eff them all and let God sort it out

    The last comment was by me and I just wanted to clarify something since I am not trying to justify any form of killing.

    Not for one second do I or could I accept the immoral act of killing or deaths to any side.

    I was just trying to point out rather than see things in the black and white way that things are sold to us we should all try to understand history and current reasons better.

    We all know there is a lot of wrong on this earth and to kill off one another for the sake of its natural resources or from the other angle some religious conception that one human is less than another because they do not live their life in the same way!

    One thing for sure is the turbalence, natural resources running low critically during a potential power change of empires.

    We should learn to live along one another we humans are what we are, if there are middle easterns that live in the west and feel they live amongst infidenls than frankly they should move back to an islamic country where they are more at home with what they see is right in their life.

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