back to article Snowden: US and Israel did create Stuxnet attack code

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has confirmed that the Stuxnet malware used to attack Iranian nuclear facilities was created as part of a joint operation between the Israelis and the NSA's Foreign Affairs Directorate (FAD). "The NSA and Israel cowrote it," he told Der Spiegel in an email interview conducted before he publicly …

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  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

    Not while THE PATRIOT act remains in force it won't.

    Some of those provisions have "sunset" provisions but the present administration chose not to shut them down.

    9/11/01 was thirteen years ago.

    Isn't it time Americans stopped the "State of Fear" they seem to live in?

    Americans, most of it inside your head.

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      Stuxnet

      Everyone knew it was Israel and the US, it was the worst best kept secret in the security services. Though now it has been made 'official' it must hurt.

      I wonder how long it will be before Mr Snowden meets with an untimely death in a car crash/aircrash, bee sting, food poisoning, slipped on wet floor getting out of a shower, drowning in the bath, overdose, bumping his head on a window ledge or falling down stairs?

      You have got to feel for the guy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stuxnet

        " it was the worst best kept secret in the security services. "

        And in the world of security for industrial automation. E.g. Ralph Langner was where I first heard Stuxnet being attributed to the US and/or Israel (or, less likely, Germany and Russia), back in November 2010:

        http://www.langner.com/en/2010/12/09/our-stuxnet-timeline/

      2. Grave

        Re: Stuxnet

        so isnt that an act of war? if the roles were reversed, usa would be whining to the high sky and then invading and destroying everything. how infantile.

      3. Christoph

        Re: Stuxnet

        " wonder how long it will be before Mr Snowden meets with an untimely death"

        Or is accused of various sexual offences to discredit him, as has been done to many whistleblowers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Re: Stuxnet

          Katharine Gun ... seems to be both alive, well and not detained at HM's pleasure for some weird peccadillo.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stuxnet

          Or is accused of various sexual offences to discredit him, as has been done to many whistleblowers.

          Forcing people to blow his whistle is just what got a certain someone else in trouble in the first place...

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

      John Smith 19, thumbs up for your comment.

      But the "State of Fear" is very real although self-perpetuating. For good reason the people have to fear the state and become more hostile towards the state. And the more hostile they get the more the state has to fear the people and implements measures to control the people...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

        13 years ago.

        Nobody even remembers how things were BEFORE.

        Do YOU?

        Really?

        Yeah, things sucked with Clipper chips, then Janet Reno productions and bizarre unresolved mysteries (these were the days of the X-Files and John Doe #2 - not Nichols) and dead Iraqis that were "worth it" etc. etc. but it was nowhere near like today.

        I think.

      2. Gordan

        Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

        For some reason this seems like a particularly apt quote in response to Evil Auditor @ 18:54 08/07/2013:

        http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0434409/quotes?qt=qt0450688

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

      Don't you mean

      11th September 2001

      Using the proper date format.

      Coat, I'm out of here.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Using the proper date format.

        The proper date format would be 2001-09-11.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Using the proper date format.

          "The proper date format would be 2001-09-11."

          What's all this crap about "proper". The only numerical date format is the ISO one. Any other arrangement of digits is just a typing error. In particular, anyone who has used a date format with two digit years in the last decade needs to be beaten about the head with a blunt instrument until two more digits drop out.

      2. admiraljkb
        Coat

        Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

        Steve - Don't you mean the proper ISO-8601 format of: 2001-09-11 ? (American and Euro date formats are equally crap for date sorting)

        Double coat, and outta here. :)

      3. Daniel B.

        Proper date formats

        2001-09-11 is the correct format.

        ISO 8601 d00d!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

      Odds of getting struck by lightning sometime in your lifetime? About 1:50,000

      Odds of getting killed by a terrorist sometime in your lifetime? About 1:60,000

      Hmmm....

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

        What! Getting struck by lightning is more likely than becoming victim of terro?

        I propose the new program "A Destruction Of Lightning, Fast". To be implemented immediately.

        1. Naughtyhorse

          Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

          <looks out of window>

          not a cloud in sight

          MISSION ACCOMPLISHED :-D

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

        Actually for those Americans who are not too chicken to visit the rest of the world (I'm not sure Canada counts) according to the DoT the biggest killer is "traffic accidents."

        It seems learning to drive on North American roads leaves people grossly unprepared for the rest of the world.

        Who needs the Taliban, when you've got roundabouts.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

          Uh-oh, Swindon now becomes a target for US drone strikes:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/content/images/2007/10/22/msn_magic_roundabout_470x350.jpg

        2. Def Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Roundabouts

          I recently took a driving holiday up the pacific coast highway in California, and encountered a real roundabout (http://goo.gl/maps/pxev3). I was so shocked at the lack of burned out wrecks piled up in the middle, I almost crashed myself.

          Paris, because she gets around and about.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Go

            Re: Roundabouts

            I keep thinking of that scene in National Lampoon European Vacation where they are stuck on the roundabout in London, going round in circles.

        3. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

          Hey John,

          Really?? Just curious to know which parts of the world you've visited? As an American, I've lived on "The" Continent for 15 years now, and have driven in lots of places that don't know how to maintain a road (Belgium), or traffic for that matter (Paris during Friday evening rush) and survived it all. I have to chalk it up to learning to drive in Chicago, if you can drive there, anywhere else is a Sunday drive in the park.

          And just to be honest about it, most people don't leave the US because it is so flippin huge. It takes about 8 hours just to drive from the top of Illinois to the bottom, and there are much bigger states than Illinois. There is enough to see for most people.

          Just sayin'....

        4. Trainee grumpy old ****
          Joke

          Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

          >> "Who needs the Taliban, when you've got roundabouts."

          You mean Milton Keynes is a hub of world terror? It now all makes sense!

      3. croc

        Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

        Your numbers seem a bit off.... Lightning strike death odds in US, about 500,000 to 700,000 to 1. Odds of terrorism death in US, about 20,000,000 to 1.

        Cost to US of POSSIBLY saving all lives if all plots intercepted had succeeded, about $200,000,000 per life saved.

        http://reason.com/archives/2011/09/06/how-scared-of-terrorism-should.

        Cost of freedoms lost? Priceless....

    5. User McUser
      Holmes

      Re: "most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so."

      "9/11/01 was thirteen years ago."

      My good sir, if you subtract 2001 from 2013 I believe you'll find that the answer is 12.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As usual in the last couple of decades

    The Germany and the UK betraying the rest of Europe and thinking only of short-term gains. They used to be on opposite sides some time ago, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As usual in the last couple of decades

      Well UK vs Germany was a largely 20th century phenomenon. Normal service resumed :-)

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: As usual in the last couple of decades

      > They used to be on opposite sides some time ago, though.

      And unfortunate accident that could have been resolved by less rah-rahism on both sides.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like the stuff of dodgy geezers.

    "Other countries don't ask where the NSA's data comes from, and the US returns that favor, to give politicians plausible deniability in the event of source disclosure, he explained."

    In other words: "ask no questions, tell no lies." Also known as wilful blindness.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    "US-based multinationals should not be trusted"

    We never considered US-based companies as secure, no matter whether they comply with the safe harbour rules. And even with data transfer within Europe we've been aware since decades that it is inherently unsafe since in most countries it is legal for the state to wiretapanalyse at least inbound cross-boarder communication.

  6. Werner McGoole

    Yeah, right.

    "According to National Security Council staffer Thomas Reed, the CIA got wind that the Soviets were trying to steal industrial-control software for a new gas pipeline from a Canadian supplier. He claims the CIA installed a trojan into the Canadian firm's software and allowed it to be purloined by the KGB.

    "The pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines and valves was programmed to go haywire, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to the pipeline joints and welds," he said. "The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.""

    Oh come on now! You steal some control software from a Canadian company and plonk it on your own pipeline - just like that - and it misbehaves. Well whadya know! If you did that it'd be 99.9% likely to blow up with or without the Trojan.

    It'd need configuring (at the very least) for your own use and if you didn't test it pretty damn thoroughly you could expect disaster for sure. If you steal some software there are no guarantees. It might not even be finished.

    I'm afraid that story is just not plausible unless you don't have a clue about writing and testing software, like I suspect Thomas Reed doesn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah, right.

      Well, firstly, the Russians had probably already stolen the hardware plans and were intending on cloning the whole system, so the software would have been effectively just another component they had to have to make it work. Secondly, the US almost certainly had already stolen the whole lot, as is their wont.

      The US's logic is: "we are always right, therefore we can do no wrong, therefore we can do what we like". Couple that with "if you're not for us, you're against us" and it's pretty obvious how we ended up in the mess we're in.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah, right.

      "I'm afraid that story is just not plausible unless you don't have a clue about writing and testing software, like I suspect Thomas Reed doesn't."

      I am inclined to agree. This part of the story is distinctly whiffy.

      The Soviets were churning out a huge number of skilled graduate programmers at the time. Such malware would have been nipped in the bud before it even got close to any purloined hardware, let alone a production system.

      1. arkhangelsk

        Re: Yeah, right.

        Well, they might have skilled programmers, but they are dealing with technology a bit more advanced than what they have (otherwise they won't have to steal) and also the programmers are not mechanical specialists. It probably won't be impossible to insert a subtle error in the coefficients that will lead to a slow wearing out over time, leading to eventual destruction. They also don't have a lot of time because they want the complex working ASAP, not in debugging.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yeah, right.

          I'm on the side of it being plausible. It might not be a single piece of software, it might be a number of easily configurable modules which allow you to tweak it to any given set up. As I suspect much software is these days. Give them the framework and the back end, all they do is the tweaking and it's done.

          Considering back then there wasn't any automated memory management, and the size of the codebase (I'm assuming it was pretty large here) all it would take is a deliberately poorly set memory location, or a memory overflow, or resetting one value 'accidently' and you have a world of problems. And having tried to debug some memory issues on the newer compilers they aren't all that eay to track down, especially if you have a few million lines of code to sort through.

          And I doubt it would be a stupid system either. more than likely it was designed to run for 'so long' to get past testing, and then blow up further down the line. I honestly doubt, even with all the programmers of russia at their disposal, that they went through each and every line of code. They probably configured it, tested it, and implemented it only for i to blow up a year or so later when it could be plausibly explained as a 'hardware fault'

  7. Anomalous Cowshed

    this is really a wonderful man

    He may be fresh-faced, but he seems to know a lot about a great many issues that are of great concern to us, having been spun out by the media in recent years. Over the next few months he will doubtless be reinforcing our fears over several high-profile issues. His revelations will fill countless front pages, while the US struggles impotently to silence him. If he were British we would call him a national treasure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: this is really a wonderful man

      " If he were British we would call him a national treasure."

      I doubt it. Look what happened to the last heroic British whistleblower, Dr David Kelly.

      Suicide, they insist. A claim that looks less and less plausible the more and more that leaks into the public domain. And the vindictive pursuit of Andrew Gilligan fits the pattern.

      1. Anomalous Cowshed

        Re: @ Ledswinger

        So what you are saying is either:

        1. That the British authorities are more vindictive and efficient at killing off people like Snowden

        2. Or that the Americans are less competent at doing so than the British.

        The question is, do they want to harm him? Or do they need to harm him? Is this a real heroic whistleblower or a media plant?

        I cannot answer these questions.

      2. RegisterThisToo

        Re: this is really a wonderful man

        you mean like Kim Philby?

      3. RegisterThisToo

        Re: this is really a wonderful man

        You mean like Kim Philby, yea now that a hero you can be proud of !

      4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: this is really a wonderful man

        > Suicide, they insist.

        Just a case of Blair poisoning. It happens to the best of them.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: this is really a wonderful man

        The article in this weekend's Guardian suggests a very different story - that Kelly was a committed germ warfare researcher who knew where the Iraqis kept their germ warfare equipment because he had been involved when the UK Government supplied it to Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war, when we were covertly supporting Iraq. And that far from briefing Gilligan off the record, it was on the instructions of SIS, an attempt by SIS to make it look as if they had told the Government there were no WMD when in fact they had, at an earlier stage, and now realised they would not be discovered and SID would be blamed. When the stuff hit the fan, Kelly as a relatively junior person (i.e. a scientist) was sacrificed to protect his bosses. So, given what might come out about his role and the way he felt betrayed, suicide made sense.

        Given the sort of people involved in this kind of business, it makes more sense than the heroic scientist feeling obliged to tell the truth to a journalist narrative, though of course I have no way of knowing if there is any truth in it.

        1. Tom 13

          @ribosome

          I've heard a similar tale in a different context. His claim was the reason the allies didn't "find" chemical weapons in Iraq is that the weapons Sadam was using were sent by the US military. So they couldn't publicly recover the crates as they'd have US serial codes.

          These are the kinds of conspiracy theories you need to walk away from. Too many ghosts, shadows, and false fronts for somebody unconnected to sort out with logic alone.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ribosome

            Unfortunately, I know enough about what was going on in the Iran/Iraq war to know that the UK was indeed covertly supplying Saddam with stuff. The Guardian article in question is definitely not a conspiracy theory piece; perhaps you should read it before dismissing it.

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: @ribosome

              Links, then!

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: @ribosome

                Found it

                Dark Actors: The Life and Death of David Kelly, by Robert Lewis

                This analysis of Iraq biological weapons inspector David Kelly's suicide is a shameless piece of conspiracy theorising

                Hmmm......

            2. John 98

              Re: @ribosome and the Good Sadam

              it's worth remembering that back in the 80s Mr. Sadam H was our noble ally fighting the evil Iranians (the lot who dared complain when we blew one of their airliners out of the sky). Maybe we, the West supplied him with nasty weapons at that time, and somebody realised the WMD propanganda thing might turn into a blue on blue incident if we found them. But then maybe not? Who knows? I could start on those other wonderful ex allies - the Taliban.

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: this is really a wonderful man

          The article in this weekend's Guardian suggests a very different story

          About this...

          "Peter Niesewand and Cyril Garfunkel arrive just in time with the Welsh Police, and the Harry Orchestra, and proceed to sing a love song which allows Dr. Indira McNorton *just* enough time to cross the alps into Geneva, where he meets Kon Rapp, a Kung Fu fanatic and cat lover, who frivolously shoots him, but not before introducing him to lively intelligent Norwegian widow Lanny Krimt, who shows him her inner thighs, where he finds the address of a good French restaurant, and unexpectedly meets Gabriello Machismo, an ex-Korean plastic surgeon whose frankly blond assistant Sally Lesbitt is now the half-brother of a distant cousin of Ray Vorn Ding-ding-a-dong, the Eurovision song, and *owner* of the million-pound bidet given by Hitler to Eva Brown as a bar mitzvah present during a state visit to Crufts, and which remained hidden, etc. etc. etc."

          THIS THEY NOW DO!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: this is really a wonderful man

          "The [Kelly] article in this weekend's Guardian "

          Link please?

          All I can quickly find is a farcical book review in the Guardian's sister paper, the Observer. And a not much better one from the book's author on 4 Jul. Hatchet jobs on Kelly in both cases?

          While I'm passing, and for those trying to dismiss the conspiracy theories: you might want to read about the Matrix Churchill prosecution and the Scott inquiry. That's one they didn't manage to keep very quiet. There are others we still haven't heard about.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/08/dark-actors-david-kelly-review

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/04/david-kelly-man-secrets

      6. strum

        the last heroic British whistleblower, Dr David Kelly

        Would that be the Dr. David Kelly who supported the Iraq War, who, indeed, wrote part of the justification dossier for the war?

        or would that be the fictional David Kelly, that Gilligan invented?

    2. Charles Manning

      re:" he seems to know a lot about a great many issues"

      I am generally sympathetic to Snowden's cause, but there is a possibility he is over egging the pudding.

      For the most part he has a highly receptive audience, none of whom are playing Devil's Advocate. None of us really know if he has real knowledge on Stuxnet or whether he's embellishing.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: he seems to know a lot about a great many issues

      Yeah, and that's when you should start doing a serious reality check.

      By his own admission he was only at the NSA for 30 days. Do you seriously think anyone could get these kinds of details on such a wide variety of data in only 30 days?

      Intelligence data is compartmentalized. My roomie has a clearance and works as a civilian for the military. Not the really secret black ops stuff, just the stuff you wouldn't want the enemy to know about how you make equipment. Pain points for him are bad enough. Very rarely he deals with highly classified systems. If you get high enough into them, you get a phone number you can call. If some one answers "Hello" and gives the correct countersign you ask your question. You don't ask who answered. You don't wait for a response to your question. You just ask. More likely you'll get a recording device and you leave a message. Maybe they'll get back to you before the deadline for whatever you are working on expires. Do you really think the hard core black ops stuff we expect the NSA to perform in defense of our country is LESS compartmentalized than the process for building armarments?

  8. JohnG

    "Other European countries also work closely with the NSA, he said, describing the organization as "in bed together with the Germans." Other countries don't ask where the NSA's data comes from, and the US returns that favor, to give politicians plausible deniability in the event of source disclosure, he explained."

    We knew this 25 years ago when it was revealed that the Canadians (under Echelon) spied on cabinet ministers who were thought to be disloyal to Margaret Thatcher. This avoided the potential legal issues of using British intelligence services to spy on members of their own government.

    German cooperation with US spying is made fairly obvious by the numerous Echelon stations dotted around Germany.

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "the Queen's selfies to the pool boy"

    Yeah, someone is just a bit desperate for attention, aren't they?

    1. hplasm
      Meh

      Re: "the Queen's selfies to the pool boy"

      And yet you keep posting...

    2. Tom 13

      Re: "the Queen's selfies to the pool boy"

      Yeah I noticed that too. I'd like to think it's the sort of remark that would set off alarms in a normal Brit's thinking. But apparently most of them are too caught up in hating on the US at the moment to see the bright flashing lights or hear the blaring sirens warning them something isn't right.

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    > risky airstrikes

    Not to mention totally illegal, and I mean Adolf-checking-out-Poland level illegal.

    1. YARR
      Stop

      Worse than that

      Adolf-checking-out-Poland is not the best case for comparison since (i) part of the occupied lands belonged to Germany prior to WW1, (ii) former Germans living in the area were being persecuted prior to the occupation, (iii) the Soviets also invaded Poland a short time later.

      1. Polyphonic
        Unhappy

        Re: Worse than that

        David Irving at his best. Fact, the invasion, not occupation, of Poland was part of a general expansion by Hitler and the Soviets invaded Poland after they had divvied up the country between them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ofcourse it is. everybody knows that

    But his credibility is in the proof. Without documents this is just as much as we knew before.

  12. Arachnoid

    Reply Icon Re: @ Ledswinger

    If you want to catch a shark you need good bait........it looks like bait,it swims and smells like bait but in the end its just a lure to catch a big fish.

    There are many men and women in many services who would give their life for their country maybe just maybe Snowden is one of them.

    1. Anomalous Cowshed

      Re: Reply Icon @ Ledswinger

      I don't believe that any man who is privy to the way things really work behind the scenes would give his life for his country - if only because the way things work behind the scenes, is the country.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Reply Icon @ Ledswinger

        I don't get it.

        Do you mean such a man would become Inner Party or that he would go postal with a boomvest?

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Reply Icon @ Anomalous Cowshed

        You have a very depressing take on life. Fortunately, there are always a few outliers who know that the country is more than what the bastards in the background say it is, and want to do the right thing. These people should be treasured, not vilified.

  13. Arachnoid

    Just to add

    As Bamber Gascoigne once said "Your starter for 10"

    Has he actually released anything at all we didn't already know or suspect?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Just to add

      I dunno. I suspect quite a lot that he hasn't released yet. Does that answer your question?

    2. Silverburn
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Just to add

      I don't think it's anything we didn't already know.

      It's sheer scale and bare-faced audacity of it all that's rather alarming.

      1. Tom 13

        @Silverburn

        So, if it is all stuff that been running around in the conspiracy mill, how do you know what he's saying is real and not stuff he made up to garner attention?

        I mean, do you REALLY think The Queen is sending "selfies" to the pool boy? I'm not questioning that we'd scoop them up in a New York second if she were, I'm asking if you really think she'd do that. She's not my queen and I don't think she would.

  14. Mr Young
    Mushroom

    Why am I bored?

    I believe it's because some cheesy little peeping toms have been caught with their pants down again? I sure am glad I don't earn a salary doing that

  15. Lars Silver badge

    Oh dear

    Trying to add some IT angle to this would be that whatever is possible will be used. So we have different governments feeling they are not as good as some other government at the "game" and they will have to win this game, of course, regardless of any rules or rights, or what ever, we think they should follow. All in the name of what ever. to day. As for Snowden, if he knocked on my door, I would let him in, offering him a shower and shelter. As for Stuxnet that was superb programming, I like that, but then again there are questions.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Oh dear

      Superb programming? I should hope so. Does anyone know if the NSA gets to tell MS to hold the patches back for enhanced testing (which lasts a few years)?

      Not anonymous, why bother?

  16. MajorTom

    Dates

    John Smith 19:

    "9/11/01 was thirteen years ago."

    12 years ago?

    Steve Davies 3:

    "Don't you mean 11th September 2001

    Using the proper date format."

    Interesting, I always though the attackers on that day chose the date "9/11" because it's the phone number Americans dial to get emergency services, 9-1-1, so that the date would be more memorable. So in this case the "correction" wouldn't be needed. Or I just missed the joke.

    1. 142
      Meh

      Re: Dates

      nah, there's a general degree of speculation that it coincides with a date in islam's history with the west. But it should be noted that there's such a long history there, that something significant has happened for islam on every date on the calendar at some point over the years.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Dates

        AFAICR it wasn't planned for that date but someone of the terros came in or messed up late so they had to postpone.

        The coincidences of

        0) This day being written 9-11

        1) NORAD running an exercice about hijacked planes

        2) Rummie hanging around at the Pentagon

        3) Someone shorting United Airlines fiercly in the morning

        all on the same day are bizarre. Look elsewhere effect. Probably.

        Did I mention that the building insure came through just a few days earlier?

  17. johnwerneken

    Snoden Phoey, NSA Bravo

    Glad we did it. Too bad Stuxnet could not cause radioactive explosions or at least meltdowns, but it least it cost the enemy billions. Let's do it again!

    As to Snowden, someone ought to shoot him.

    1. Hungry Sean
      Facepalm

      Re: Snoden Phoey, NSA Bravo

      are you twelve? Do you have any idea of the consequences of a radioactive disaster caused by sabotage in the middle east? Holy frickin' crap.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Snoden Phoey, NSA Bravo

        Don't feed the Nazi trolls.

  18. Robinson

    Err

    So, Snowden is sitting in Russia, a mafia state where journalists are regularly bumped off, spilling US, UK intelligence secrets.

    I hope he gets extradited and spends the rest of his life in prison. He's a massive ****.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Err

      I suppose it would be wrong of me to suggest the same fate for you, for exactly the same reasons?

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Err

      > a mafia state

      Right, uh .... You may want to get in contact with "Human Rights Watch". Their spokesperson was righteously tweeting about the bad, bad countries that hypocritical Mr. Snowden was seeking refuge in.

      Shiver me timbers!

    3. tekHedd

      Re: Err

      Yes, it's kind of sad that someone pointing out things that his fellow citizens really ought to know about ends up seeking asylum with the "bad guys" out of fear of, say, ending up on so-called "suicide watch" for 5 years. Democracy starts with transparency. What does it end with?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    State of fear

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Nightmares

    Interesting take on it.

  20. Rampant Spaniel

    A history of introducing dodgy technology to the soviets?

    That would be Windows Vista? To be fair I'm sure the Japanese sent them far worse, Canon Imagebrowser Ex springs to mind.

  21. WatAWorld

    Der Spiegle has produced a proper English version of the email interview

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-whistleblower-edward-snowden-on-global-spying-a-910006.html

  22. jmk89

    Snowden: Bear sh**s in woods

    Will be tomorrows headline

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really?

    And he'd know?

    Snowden is a fool who has given up a decent life and for what?

    To tell us that plain text data and unencrypted data sent over public media has been scanned by governments? This is supposed to be an amazing revelation? Anyone with network access to the dozens of servers between our client and a destination server could do the same.

    Meanwhile, as we read the articles about Snowden on The Register and every other outraged media site our actions are scanned by Google or one of its ad subsidiaries with the full and complete knowledge of the outraged journalists and bloggers.

    If you use a public thoroughfare, don't be surprised if you're caught on camera.

  24. Major Variola

    Centrifuge rotors not motors

    Just a tech note: it wasn't the Iranian centrifuge motors that were damaged, it was the centrifuge rotors. By varying the motor speed ridiculously you can cause vibrations that destroy the tubes. This will cause various automatic shutdowns and reduce the cascade's ability to separate.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who'd'a thaw tit?

    America and Israel write virus to take out arch enemy's nuclear programme.

    That's a real shock. I was thinking it was Pakistan that was behind it, what with all their positive artistic, and scientific, and humanstic, and medical and technological advances they've contributed to the world.

  26. tekHedd

    Just One Thing

    Those who say Snowden is a "traitor" or "hurting the USA," I ask this question: can you name *one* piece of information that Snowden has released that US citizens should not know about.

    Not what he might know, or what he could know. I'm talking about what he has released. What information should we, as US citizens not know about. Name it. One thing that makes him a traitor instead of a patriot. I'm waiting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Just One Thing

      I'm not American but if I was I would class him as a patriot. (I'm British I don't use such terminology)

      However telling the Chinese that America is monitoring their citizens could be construed by some simple minded folk as traitorous. If you were to ask why then look no further than the perpetual state of fear of "the enemy" whoever that might be at the time.

      Though I am getting a bit annoyed at "the snowden show", which begs the question why focus on the person and not the reason, I do get the feeling that the mainstream press do this all the time.

  27. Faye Kane, homeless brain

    Why in the WORLD would Snowden not release everything at once? Does he figure they won't assassinate him that way?

    Now Putin has the good stuff and wants it only for himself.

    And isn't Snowden supposed to be in Venezuela? What ever happened with that?

    --faye kane ♀ girl brain

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why in the WORLD would Snowden not release everything at once?"

      Because he's an attention seeker who believes he'll stay in the public eye for longer. And he may well be right given the gullibility and general ignorance on technical matters of the media.

      I wonder if he's realised by now what a monumental idiot he has been. Famous for a few weeks followed by the rest of his life imprisoned in a jail of either his own making (if he's lucky) or one in the USA. And for what? To give a few US politicians a minor diplomatic headache for a month or two and a few more a reason to bash the US.

      Bloody sad and bloody pointless. Whoever printed this stuff first should have told him to go home and keep his mouth shut rather than screw up his life.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Why in the WORLD would Snowden not release everything at once?

      Maybe he was just disgusted that the US was breaking it's own laws by routine monitoring. Something that the administration explicitly said it didn't do. Maybe he never wanted to release everything he knew into the public domain. However when he first opened his mouth the US authorities fired off a shitstorm that made it impossible for him to do anything else but trade other secrets for safe haven.

      Modern governments use many weapons but they are often most proficient with the good old footgun.

    3. jmk89
      Thumb Up

      Completely agree. It's the same with WikiLeaks. If they were just concerned with freedom of information etc, they would just release everything at once, but instead they release small bits of into at a time, because they enjoy the drama of the whole thing and the attention more than they care about FOI!

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      re: Why in the WORLD would Snowden not release everything at once?

      You are assuming that he didn't...

      Remember Wikileaks and it's media partners/backers are involved. As we have seen from previous high profile leaks/disclosures, these parties have trickled information out even though they have been sitting on it for a few weeks or months - whilst they sift through and verify it and then build stories around the nuggets uncovered.

      The only real fly in the ointment is that if this was the case, Snowden would of probably distanced himself from the data so that he could take up Putin's offer and do some escorted (?!) sight seeing.

      Going off on a tangent, Hollywood has probably got someone in with Snowden researching material for "The Terminal 2".

  28. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if you dont like dirty secrets...

    ...dont be so naive as to take the type of job where youre probably going to encounter them.

    Ive got absolutely no sympathy for these people - they are not whistleblowers - they are risking national security and delicate international relationships by divulging this sort of info. It is treason - pure and simple.

    The unfortunate reality is that all major nations do this sort of thing and the best sort of defence is attack as far as this stuff goes...

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