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11577
“Malworm Stuxnet Proved More Destructive Than a Conventional Attack”
by debkafile'   
October 4th, 2010

With the impact of the first cyber offensive ever inflicted on a state just beginning to register, the magnitude of the damage Iran has already suffered may be hard to grasp. The attack which crested in the last couple of weeks has wrought strategic ravages on a scale comparable to an attack by conventional weapons.
The big difference, as DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources point out, is that Stuxnet has not demolished buildings, military bases or physical utilities - or caused massive loss of life. No more than a dozen individuals were killed. They were sitting in front of computers which imploded in military laboratories and installations and civilian utilities or were trapped in fires which flared at big strategic installations when Stuxnet shut down their systems and networks.
A conventional war on a comparable scale would have caused massive devastation. Strategic and military infrastructure would have been pulverized and casualty figures soared to at least one thousand dead and 5,000 injured.
Most media and Iranian outlets have built their reporting on the new cyber war around descriptions of how Stuxnet works and guesswork about its source - or sources.
Undisclosed so far are eight pieces of essential data which are exclusively listed hereunder:

Attack focused on nuclear and military targets - less on civilian infrastructure

1. The attack has focused on Iran's nuclear and military resources - less on civilian infrastructure.
The concealed projects of Iran's nuclear weapons program have, in particular, been either partially damaged and would meet the conventional military definition of "temporarily out of action," or so immobilized as to require many months, perhaps more than a year, before they are restored to even partial operation.
2. Most of Iran's key military facilities, including the nuclear laboratories in North Tehran, the atomic reactor in Bushehr, the uranium enrichment plants in Natanz and the thousands of centrifuges spinning there, are gravely disabled and working at minimal capacity.
3. Some of Iran's military command and control centers at military and Revolutionary Guards Corps headquarters are shut down, along with field command centers for ballistic missile batteries, key airbases, air defenses and navy. Alien computer software was found loaded in their networks instead of normal operating systems.
A high-ranking Persian Gulf official remarked that an enemy attack in the last two weeks would have found Iran virtually stripped of its defenses. A missile strike combined with a commando landing on Iran's strategic sites would have met with slight resistance. Neither the General Staff nor the IRGC Command was in any state to muster the forces needed to repel an invasion for more than a few hours. Tehran today, said the source, is a city without protection against an air strike or a ground offensive.
4. The most serious impairment has been suffered by the military industrial giants, which are relied on in emergencies to keep up a rapid supply of munitions and replacement parts to the military and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) units, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources report.
Hundreds of these plants are near breakdown.

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