back to article When security gets physical: Mossad boss hints at less-than-subtle Stuxnet followup

The outgoing head of Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad has suggested that Stuxnet wasn't the only spanner in the works his agency put into Iran's nuclear programme. In an interview last week, Yossi Cohen intimated that Iran's uranium-enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz facility had been physically destroyed in the …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Stuxnet wasn't the only spanner in the works"

    Spying 101 : keep your enemy looking for threats, whether they exist or not.

    Of course he's going to say that. Mossad is full of actually competent people. They know that you keep your enemy under pressure, so that the enemy makes mistakes that can compound whatever it is you have in waiting, or make it easier or better to unleash at the right time.

    Of course, if I were Iran and Mossad declared that they were done and didn't have anything ready, I wouldn't trust them either . . .

    1. Danny 2

      Re: "Stuxnet wasn't the only spanner in the works"

      James Mickens:

      Basically, you’re either dealing with Mossad or not-Mossad. If your adversary is not-Mossad, then you’ll probably be fine if you pick a good password and don’t respond to emails from If your adversary is the Mossad, YOU’RE GONNA DIE AND THERE’S NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. The Mossad is not intimidated by the fact that you employ https://. If the Mossad wants your data, they’re going to use a drone to replace your cellphone with a piece of uranium that’s shaped like a cellphone, and when you die of tumors filled with tumors, they’re going to hold a press conference and say “It wasn’t us” as they wear t-shirts that say “IT WAS DEFINITELY US,” and then they’re going to buy all of your stuff at your estate sale so that they can directly look at the photos of your vacation instead of reading your insipid emails about them.

      1. Clausewitz4.0 Bronze badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: "Stuxnet wasn't the only spanner in the works"

        If your adversary is the Mossad, YOU’RE GONNA DIE AND THERE’S NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

        Not entirely true. Mossad b1tches are also mortals. Also afraid of knifes and guns in hand-to-hand street combat.

  2. JulieM Silver badge

    This is terrorism

    This is terrorism. Why is it not being prosecuted?

    1. WhereAmI?

      Re: This is terrorism

      So... your neighbour doesn't like you and is mixing ammonium nitrate bombs in his shed with the stated intention of blowing up your house and killing all of your family. You are going to let him continue and then call the police after he has committed that act. Spot the problem.

      1. David Neil

        Re: This is terrorism

        You can easily read that as the neighbour being Israel

      2. Chris G

        Re: This is terrorism


        So that makes it okay to go and kill your neighbour first?

        Without following the rule of law?

        That makes you no better than him.

      3. Velv

        Re: This is terrorism

        No matter which way round you read this, neither neighbour has the right to kill the other. Blowing up your neighbour because he's making bombs is not acceptable, you've done exactly what your neighbour feared you would do, which is why he was preparing his own bombs.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: This is terrorism

          "If the man constitutes a capability that endangers the citizens of XXX, he must stop existing,"

          So it would be perfectly legitimate for the Russians to assassinate Boeing engineers.

          Or for the British to kill anyone working on RISC-V

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: This is terrorism

            Yes, that phrasing is broad and vague enough to justify assassinating pretty much anyone, anywhere. But it's not like "intelligence" services, of any nation, have ever been terribly worried about justification anyway. This is just a bit of public chest-thumping; it's not establishing some policy that wasn't already de facto.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Explosives in the marble certainly beats spreading nitrogen iodide on the floor. But why marble?

    1. WhereAmI?

      I understand the downvotes because my analogy wasn't as good as it could have been. If I had added 'and there is no police force to turn to' it may have been better. Iran has promised Israel with nuclear mayhem, whatever it might cost Iran to deliver it. How, in law, is it possible to stop Iran from nuking Israel without Israel going after the source of the threat?

      And no, I am not a fan of some of Israel's responses. At all.

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