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Linking Historical Reconciliation and Security Cooperation in Northeast Asia

Cyber Warfare and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

November 3, 2011 · No Comments

There is evidence that the United States and Israel are engaged in what amounts to “counter-proliferation” in attempting to deal with Iran’s potential nuclear weapons program.  In 2010, a Stuxnet attack was made on Iran’s centrifuges.  According to press reports, Israel built centrifuges at their own Dimona facility like those used by the Iranians, perhaps with Siemans’ assistance, in order to know precisely how to design the cyber attack.  Some estimate that a fifth of Iran’s centrifuges may have been damaged in the attack on their so-called Supervisory Control and Data Requisition (SCADA) system.  Now, Richard Sale, in his article “US and Israel Tech Teams Develop ‘Malworm’ to Take Down Iran’s Computer Software,” in Truthout, November 2, 2011, describes a more ambitious project in which even US major software companies have been involved. 

It seems to me that no sensible person wants the US or Israel to make a military attack on either Iran or the DPRK in order to try to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but what about a cyber attack?  How might such an attack, or the threat of such an attack, fit into non-proliferation strategies?

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