Nov 18 2010

U.S. antivirus industry is Iran’s new “BFF”

Free services & software to protect Iran's nuclear fuel/weapon production
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General Assef Shawqat,

As-salaamu ‘alaikum. Your personnel will provide a brief dossier on me; I believe you will find me a competent cyber warfare analyst. Someone in Shu’bat al-Mukhabarat al-‘Askariyya recently viewed six pages of my web material, and for this, I am sincerely flattered.

An open letter to the former head of Syria’s mili­tary intel­li­gence agency

I will offer you an insight no one else can provide tangential to the Stuxnet worm. First, it proves the antivirus industry is Iran’s new best friend. Second, it exposes the U.S. military’s misunder­standing of its relationship with the U.S. antivirus industry.

General, I long ago warned the global antivirus industry will turn against America to support its enemies. Now, the Stuxnet worm gives antivirus firms an opportunity to provide free analyses and free products to bolster Iran’s nuclear fuel/weapon production.

A story in The Register cites “Eric Chien, a senior researcher at Symantec” who posted a key technical analysis on his company’s website revealing the worm’s true goal. Chien provides Iran with a level of expertise they almost certainly cannot muster on their own.

I assess Chien’s loyalties as “first to his friends in the industry, then to his employer, then to his countrymen.” I infer from the tone of his analysis papers, plus the “flavor” of his blog entries, that he doesn’t (yet) understand the vital role he now plays in Iran’s nuclear fuel/weapon program.

I also refer you to Trend Micro’s free software to detect the Stuxnet worm. Their experts likewise provide valuable support the Iranians almost certainly cannot develop on their own.

Heed my words, General. For the foreseeable future, I believe the global antivirus industry will prove a valuable ally to any country lacking a highly advanced cyber corps. This is a blessing for Iran’s nuclear fuel/weapon program. Conversely, for the foreseeable future, I believe the global antivirus industry will prove a detriment to any country that does possess a highly advanced cyber corps. This is a curse for Israel.

Iran can count on the global anti­virus industry to protect their nuclear fuel / weapon program.

General, I hear the question on your lips. “Why would a charter member of the 609th IWS brief me on this topic?” The answer is simple, sir. My open letter to you is, in fact, a warning bell to the myopic U.S. Department of Defense. I wish to open their eyes so they can finally see their misguided relationship with the U.S. antivirus industry.

America’s naïve cyber military leaders covet what they believe is a long-standing friendship with U.S. antivirus firms. At an August 2009 military conference, for example, Air Force commanding general Norton Schwartz lauded keynote speaker McAfee CEO David DeWalt, who wants the Air Force to believe they won’t be deceived this time around.

In truth, U.S. antivirus firms secretly armed China with offensive virus technology while denying this knowledge to the U.S. military. Still, “groupthink mentality” deep within the Air Force has long mistaken its true relationship with U.S. antivirus firms. This mentality retards the Defense Department’s ability to understand their roles & strategies in cyberspace, and it will continue this way for at least a few more years.

Iran’s clan­des­tine service would do well to exploit USAF’s gul­li­bility in cyberspace.

I hear the final question on your lips, sir. “Is it a sin for a U.S. airman to openly brief Syria’s top intelligence officer?”

I did exactly what Eric Chien did — I provided a level of expertise the Iranians probably cannot muster on their own. Yet my peers hold me to a different standard than Chien’s peers! So the answer is “yes, it is a sin when I do exactly what Eric Chien did.”

General Shawqat, thank you for taking time to read my open letter. I salute you for answering the call of your country. As-salaamu ‘alaikum.

PS: Syria, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries should consider opening secret negotiations to obtain offensive virus technology from the U.S. antivirus industry. The worst they can do is say “no” to you — and they already said “yes” to China and

  • By Rob RosenbergerNo Gravatar, 19 November 2010 @ 11:24 pm

    Symantec’s involvement forces me to ask two disturbing questions. First: how, exactly, did Symantec acquire a TS/SCI fully operational SCADA laboratory capable of analyzing Stuxnet’s nuclear-specific payload? Second: when did computer virus expert Eric Chien become a renowned “DoE Q-cleared” nuclear SCADA expert?

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