p. 3damage beyond Natanz. As the Russian ambassador to NATO worried,
lead to a new Chernobyl.”
According to General Michael V. Hayden, former director of the Central IntelligenceAgency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), Stuxnet is
“the first attack of a major
nature in which a cyberattack was used to effect physical destruction.
The attack obviously didnot permanently derail Iran
nuclear program: enrichment recovered within a year, and concernsmounted throughout 2012 that Israel or the U.S. might launch airstrikes to address the worsening problem. Nevertheless,
technical performance did demonstrate that cyber weapons arenot just science fiction. As a proof-of-concept, it appears to support claims that ubiquitous digitaltechnologies create a potent new form of warfare. Many see Stuxnet as the harbinger of evenmore devastating attacks to come, or the leading edge of a cybersecurity Revolution in MilitaryAffairs (RMA). Now that the genie is out of the bottle, many argue, even weak states and other political actors are encouraged to acquire cyber capabilities, and these increasingly threaten theU.S. and other advanced industrial countries.
The notion of a Cyber Revolution, once just a preoccupation of information age futurists,has become widely influential in defense policy circles. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimedthat
A cyber attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremists groups could be as
Russia says Stuxnet could have caused new Chernobyl
(26 January 2011)
Sanger, "Obama Order"
Arguments for the Cyber Revolution thesis by former senior U.S. officials include Mike McConnell, "Cyberwar isthe New Atomic Age,"
New Perspectives Quarterly
vol. 26, no. 3 (2009): 72-77; Richard A. Clarke and RobertKnake,
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do about It
(New York, NY: Harpercollins,2010); Joel Brenner,
America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare
(New York: Penguin Press, 2011). On Stuxnet as an RMA see James P. Farwell and Rafal Rohozinski,"Stuxnet and the Future of Cyber War,"
vol. 53, no. 1 (2011): 23-40; Joseph S. Nye, Jr., "Nuclear Lessonsfor Cyber Security?"
Strategic Studies Quarterly
(Winter 2011); Paulo Shakarian, "Stuxnet: Cyberwar Revolution inMilitary Affairs,"
Small Wars Journal
(April 2011); Sean Collins and Stephen Mccombie, "Stuxnet: The Emergenceof a New Cyber Weapon and Its Implications,"
Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
vol. 7, no. 1(2012): 80-91; James P. Farwell and Rafal Rohozinski, "The New Reality of Cyber War,"
vol. 54, no. 4(2012): 107-120.