Sabotaging another nation’s power grids, or blowing up industrial plants, are actual acts of war under international law. The term “cyber-terrorism” as used in the title, almost softens the impact of that fact. In recent months and weeks, the US has been active—either by its own account, or according to target nations—in new acts of war that use the digital realm in order to produce concrete effects on the ground. Venezuela, which suffered debilitating power outages in March, laid at least some of the blame on alleged cyber attacks by the US. The US certainly possesses the means to engage in such cyber-warfare, and has actually done so. Iran is a case in point. Not only has Iran allegedly been targeted in recent days, it was also targeted by Obama with the aid of Israel. This requires that we review the case of the Stuxnet Worm.
Why does it matter that we should be aware and informed about the Stuxnet Worm? What is Stuxnet, and what can it do? Who has actually used it, and to what effect? What are the consequences for all of us, now that Stuxnet has been unleashed worldwide?
Americans live under a state which tells them that their country is “the target” of nefarious foreign attackers that engage in cyber-terrorism or other cyber-crimes against the US. They will rarely, if ever, be aware of the fact that it is their own country which has committed the most dangerous and widespread cyber-terrorism—and that as a result, Americans are now vulnerable to the very same computer technologies that their country first deployed against others. This is yet another instance of what others have critiqued as “American innocence”.