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Author Topic: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references  (Read 5105 times)

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Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« on: September 30, 2010, 11:53:27 PM »
http://www.cnbc.com/id/39435594

Fascinating really. When I first heard the story break, I immediately imagined it had to be some sort of state sponsored effort. Now it seems likely it was indeed. Israel. This effort, along with other subterfuge we know nothing about likely, seems to be the best last route to foiling Iran's efforts.

It is at least much preferable to any kind of overt military action, such as a naval and air blockade of some fashion.

I've also though it would be wise to ensure Iranian citizens have the capability to broadcast outside the country, such as we saw what 2 years ago with Twitter, and what not. Anything we can do to foil the regime's effort to stifle those sort of things we should be doing.

Offline Wolfy

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 12:18:57 AM »
If Only we could mobilize 4chan...Iran would be shut down within days. O-o

Offline Oniya

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 02:02:19 AM »
The 'calling card' is a bit on the sketchy side.  One of the commenters even suggested MYRTUS could translate to 'My RTUs', meaning 'Remote Terminal Units', (something that would be relevant in commandeering nuclear facilities), rather than going from Esther, to her original name of Hadassah, which supposedly sounds like the Hebrew word for myrtle.  (I don't think that I can lay hands on an annotated Hebrew text to confirm that.  Not at the moment anyways.)

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Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 04:16:30 AM »
This wasn't Israel.  Nobody is entirely sure who is doing this yet, but the Israelis tend to focus much more on somewhat more direct methods of problem solving.  If Iran suddenly exploded for no apparent reason, then I'd buy Israel.

In addition, Iran isn't the only country that's been hit by this virus.  Israel might be twitchy involving Iran, but they have much less reason to go after, for instance, China.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 07:20:32 AM »
This wasn't Israel.  Nobody is entirely sure who is doing this yet, but the Israelis tend to focus much more on somewhat more direct methods of problem solving.  If Iran suddenly exploded for no apparent reason, then I'd buy Israel.

In addition, Iran isn't the only country that's been hit by this virus.  Israel might be twitchy involving Iran, but they have much less reason to go after, for instance, China.

Just because the virus hit other countries than Iran doesn't mean it wasn't Israel. Put a virus into the 'wild' and it will spread how it will spread. You'd have little control of where it went. One may 'target' an entity but it seems plausible to me it would spread quickly beyond the intended target too.

No, we can't know for sure it was Israel, but as the article says, they do have a substantial cyber warfare center. Personally I think the chances are pretty good it was them. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 10:06:21 PM »
If someone creates a virus and stamps it with your name, address, and place of birth does that make it yours?

Tracing viral origins by competent people is an extremely tricky affair. The virus apparently got into Iran through Russian contractors. That... doesn't tell us a whole lot. There are at least two other countries who would rather that Iran not have a functioning nuclear program, who have the technical and industrial experience to pull this off. We might never know until an intelligence agency admits to it (and seriously, Seimens 'We recommend that you do not change the password from default as it may impact production'... wtf)

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 10:12:12 PM »
If someone creates a virus and stamps it with your name, address, and place of birth does that make it yours?

Tracing viral origins by competent people is an extremely tricky affair. The virus apparently got into Iran through Russian contractors. That... doesn't tell us a whole lot. There are at least two other countries who would rather that Iran not have a functioning nuclear program, who have the technical and industrial experience to pull this off. We might never know until an intelligence agency admits to it (and seriously, Seimens 'We recommend that you do not change the password from default as it may impact production'... wtf)

For sure, we'll never know 100% certain. But sure seems likely to me.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 10:20:15 PM »
I think I can  name a handful of countries in the immediate area who would LOVE to keep their lovely neighbors out of the Nuclear Club and have access to cybercriminals who do this sort of thing all the time. And another handful in the west BESIDES the US.

Truth be told, I see a LOT of intelligence types seeing this as a pragmatic way to slow the Iranians down. I sure as well wouldn't want them to have a bomb if I was on the other side of the Gulf from them.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2010, 10:35:46 PM »
Hard to rule out a conspiracy, either.

My main issue with blaming Israel is - well. If a year ago you asked me "Which government will be the first to create a worm that focuses on disrupting industry and has a means of embedding itself in firmware." I'd probably make a list and it'd look like

1) Russia

...

This being the most sophisticated worm yet seen, and with them having the most experience by far.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2010, 10:47:40 PM »
I had no idea Russia is the viral valley of computer viruses. I thought that distinction belonged to pimple faced Scandinavians holed up in their parents' basements.

But whoever did it, if they even did it by design in attempt to foil Iran's efforts, bravo I say. Though it certainly isn't a silver bullet.

Offline Stormie

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2010, 10:57:15 PM »
what virus is this may i ask

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2010, 11:00:18 PM »
Hard to rule out a conspiracy, either.

My main issue with blaming Israel is - well. If a year ago you asked me "Which government will be the first to create a worm that focuses on disrupting industry and has a means of embedding itself in firmware." I'd probably make a list and it'd look like

1) Russia

...

This being the most sophisticated worm yet seen, and with them having the most experience by far.

You can add a few more to that list.

2 China
3 North/South Korea

Both groups I tossed in are very pragmatic  in their outlook. I can see either Korea (and possibly Taiwan) doing something like that..and China would.

BUT none of them have interests taht run counter to a nuclear Iran. Now, Pakistan might..and there was for a long while a pervasive Hacker Culture there.. and ditto to Indian (another nearby country who would dislike a Nuke in the hands of the Loonies of the Gulf)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2010, 11:19:39 PM »
I had no idea Russia is the viral valley of computer viruses. I thought that distinction belonged to pimple faced Scandinavians holed up in their parents' basements.

But whoever did it, if they even did it by design in attempt to foil Iran's efforts, bravo I say. Though it certainly isn't a silver bullet.

Eastern Europe is. You drive smart people to desperation and smart people will do desperate things, and they have had two decades to refine their practice. But the only one with significant potential state ties is Russia and the Russian Business Network.

Outside of Eastern Europe, the primary cyber espionage power is China, of course.

You can add a few more to that list.

2 China
3 North/South Korea

Both groups I tossed in are very pragmatic  in their outlook. I can see either Korea (and possibly Taiwan) doing something like that..and China would.

BUT none of them have interests taht run counter to a nuclear Iran. Now, Pakistan might..and there was for a long while a pervasive Hacker Culture there.. and ditto to Indian (another nearby country who would dislike a Nuke in the hands of the Loonies of the Gulf)

Worm design is something only a few governments have direct experience with, or access to said experience. The same goes for firmware loading - that's a clever trick to do without bricking what you're working on. Whoever did this also had a clear picture of how Iran operated, which limits the spectrum quite a ways.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2010, 11:27:28 PM »
Eastern Europe is. You drive smart people to desperation and smart people will do desperate things, and they have had two decades to refine their practice. But the only one with significant potential state ties is Russia and the Russian Business Network.

Outside of Eastern Europe, the primary cyber espionage power is China, of course.

Worm design is something only a few governments have direct experience with, or access to said experience. The same goes for firmware loading - that's a clever trick to do without bricking what you're working on. Whoever did this also had a clear picture of how Iran operated, which limits the spectrum quite a ways.

I figure for the firmware work there are maybe a dozen groups world wide with the knowledge and skill to do it, and I'm willing to bet not even half of them could put it in place on their own. I could see some of them being paid to design it by another party.. who could have access to the skills to put in place.

Of course the NSA and the European equivalents could do it easily. I don't honestly see a US agency having the moxie to do it these days. Well at least not officially, someone back room cowboy might try it..

This isn't something that was thrown together in a weekend planning session.  This took some time, effort, and money to do. LOTS of it. That points to an intelligence group first hand.

Offline Jaybee

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2010, 04:56:54 PM »
Given their doubtless rigourous methods of data decentralisation, I doubt this worm will slow them down. 

I should add, Iran's nuclear program is every pacifist's nightmare - I am torn between supporting a sovereign nation's right to bear nuclear arms, and hoping they never do.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2010, 05:33:38 PM »
They would use it as a club to get what they want.  Syria, Turkey, Egypt are all moderate Islamic states in their religious outlook, Iran would threaten them to get leverage and position. Isreal would catch one eventually for sure. The gulf states would be blackmailed outright.  Anyone that threatens the Iranian take on Islam would be as likely a target as western interests.

It would be a big step towards the Ayatollas and their front men to forcing an Islamic union of states of their liking.

Iran would be as bad as North Korea with a nuke and in a better position to use it. In addition to oil they have natural stocks of uranium. It would be a nightmare to anyone that who disagrees with Tehran on anything more important than the choice of cereals for breakfast.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2010, 10:35:14 PM »
They would use it as a club to get what they want.  Syria, Turkey, Egypt are all moderate Islamic states in their religious outlook, Iran would threaten them to get leverage and position. Isreal would catch one eventually for sure. The gulf states would be blackmailed outright.  Anyone that threatens the Iranian take on Islam would be as likely a target as western interests.

It would be a big step towards the Ayatollas and their front men to forcing an Islamic union of states of their liking.

Iran would be as bad as North Korea with a nuke and in a better position to use it. In addition to oil they have natural stocks of uranium. It would be a nightmare to anyone that who disagrees with Tehran on anything more important than the choice of cereals for breakfast.

Countries that get nuclear weapons tend to get a healthy dose of sanity very quickly. Until Obama revised the engagement rules (and with regard to nukes, they still apply as before), if you make use of a nuclear weapon on an ally's soil, it is treated as a nuclear attack on the United States directly, the consequence of which will be complete and utter nuclear annihilation.

On the converse, the United States gives away technology for nuclear safety mechanisms. Even to Iran. This also helps reduce the need for the recipient country to perform negative tests, so that at least is win-win.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2010, 11:52:28 PM »
Countries that get nuclear weapons tend to get a healthy dose of sanity very quickly.

That is quite a gamble I'd say. Exhibit A: Pakistan.

Quote
Until Obama revised the engagement rules (and with regard to nukes, they still apply as before), if you make use of a nuclear weapon on an ally's soil, it is treated as a nuclear attack on the United States directly, the consequence of which will be complete and utter nuclear annihilation.

In respects to NATO allies this has always been true, nuclear attack or no. Or, if you're saying Obama 'changed' that rule, I'd be skeptical that he alone would have the authority to do that. NATO members would have to vote on that as a unit. Unless I completely missed your point?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2010, 12:22:46 AM »
Countries that get nuclear weapons tend to get a healthy dose of sanity very quickly. Until Obama revised the engagement rules (and with regard to nukes, they still apply as before), if you make use of a nuclear weapon on an ally's soil, it is treated as a nuclear attack on the United States directly, the consequence of which will be complete and utter nuclear annihilation.

On the converse, the United States gives away technology for nuclear safety mechanisms. Even to Iran. This also helps reduce the need for the recipient country to perform negative tests, so that at least is win-win.

I don't think the ruling clerics will let ANYONE tell them what to do. And I sincerly doubt that the current administration and congress would respond in kind if Isreal got nuked. I'm sorry, I don't see Nancy Pelosi doing anything but wring her hands.

And I very much doubt detonating a nuke will make the ruling clerics in Iran sane. I don't think they see things in the same cultural context as the western countries. They get a nuke, they'll treat it as just another 'big gun' to threaten folks with.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2010, 04:04:58 PM »
That is quite a gamble I'd say. Exhibit A: Pakistan.

Yes, look at their leadership before and after they got nukes.

Their populace is less so, but genuine US government incompetence rears its head again. We had the perfect opportunity to rectify that situation a few months ago, too, during the floods.

If you make people desperate, they will do desperate things.

Quote
In respects to NATO allies this has always been true, nuclear attack or no. Or, if you're saying Obama 'changed' that rule, I'd be skeptical that he alone would have the authority to do that. NATO members would have to vote on that as a unit. Unless I completely missed your point?

It has to do with reworking the treaty with regards to biological weapons. Pulling chemical weapons off of the nuclear response table is one thing, but saying "We might do it with this class of weapons" rather than an explicit yes or no creates uncertainty and that's not the sort of thing we like to have in policy making.

I don't think the ruling clerics will let ANYONE tell them what to do. And I sincerly doubt that the current administration and congress would respond in kind if Isreal got nuked. I'm sorry, I don't see Nancy Pelosi doing anything but wring her hands.

The ruling clerics are not stupid. It's not like they disbelieve in nuclear weapons.

And it is not Congress's decision to launch or prevent the launching of nukes. The only way for the Congressional branch to prevent a nuclear retaliation would be to declare a preemptive impeachment process of some sort.

Quote
And I very much doubt detonating a nuke will make the ruling clerics in Iran sane. I don't think they see things in the same cultural context as the western countries. They get a nuke, they'll treat it as just another 'big gun' to threaten folks with.

Pakistan didn't.

American policy does not fuck around on that score. If you launch nuclear weapons, you will be destroyed.

End of story.

Your fate is sealed the moment that weapon detonates on foreign soil. North Korea launches a nuke at Japan, Japan has no say in whether or not nuclear retaliation occurs. China has no say. Russia has no say. South Korea has no say.

Same goes for Iran. Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia - none of them have even the pull that Congress does, which is effectively zero.

No one wants to see these weapons used, ever again, and a part of that means a guaranteed destruction for anyone crazy enough to use them. They are purely a defensive arrangement, raising the cost of an attack of them. Attacking someone else with them, as it stands, is suicide.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2010, 04:57:11 PM »
Yes, look at their leadership before and after they got nukes.

Their populace is less so, but genuine US government incompetence rears its head again. We had the perfect opportunity to rectify that situation a few months ago, too, during the floods.

If you make people desperate, they will do desperate things.

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0810_pakistan/

Has our response be inadequate? Can the third world nations have it both ways: Stay out of our country and business, but if disaster strikes, you sure as hell better be here to bail us out! Or are you referring to something else entirely? I recall hearing something about the Taliban threatening the populace if they accepted help from the West.

Quote
It has to do with reworking the treaty with regards to biological weapons. Pulling chemical weapons off of the nuclear response table is one thing, but saying "We might do it with this class of weapons" rather than an explicit yes or no creates uncertainty and that's not the sort of thing we like to have in policy making.

If it makes our enemies uncomfortable, guessing at what we may or may not do, I like that idea better than putting all our cards on the table.


Quote
American policy does not fuck around on that score. If you launch nuclear weapons, you will be destroyed.

End of story.

As it should be!

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 11:07:31 PM »
http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0810_pakistan/

Has our response be inadequate? Can the third world nations have it both ways: Stay out of our country and business, but if disaster strikes, you sure as hell better be here to bail us out! Or are you referring to something else entirely? I recall hearing something about the Taliban threatening the populace if they accepted help from the West.

The third world hardly sees America as staying out of their own business.

Western aid to Pakistan is vastly dwarfed by the speed and magnitude of the response to the Haiti Earthquake and the tsunami, in comparison to the number of people affected.

The geographical region devastated is roughly comparable with the size of the US Eastern seaboard. The area underwater at one point was roughly the size of Wisconsin.

Quote
If it makes our enemies uncomfortable, guessing at what we may or may not do, I like that idea better than putting all our cards on the table.

No. They should not wonder at our judgment call about whether or not they can get away with a given biological weapon, and make that attempt during a weak administration.

This is going to become rather more critical as the ability for a single disgruntled person to inflict worldwide harm increases over the next century. Slaying the evildoers, as some put it, while doing nothing about the situation that generated them puts us in Israel's situation writ global - they recover while we expend resources. That attitude no longer wins wars. The threat of a biological holocaust is probably the greatest threat we have ever and will ever face.

Quote
As it should be!

I don't think it's something worth being enthusiastic about. It's best left as one of those robotic lines that humans in general agree not to be the first to cross.

Offline Ojokernegro

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2010, 12:33:55 PM »
So wait...this is an "all vs Iran" topic of sorts? I read half of it, but I couldn't quite grasp your stance on the matter.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2010, 03:33:07 PM »
So wait...this is an "all vs Iran" topic of sorts? I read half of it, but I couldn't quite grasp your stance on the matter.

Well, they do pretty much stand alone. If China or Russia seems supportive of Iran, its only for their own reasons I am sure.

My stance: Short of more aggressive and military escalations, subterfuge and cyber warfare seems like the next best option to keep Iran from becoming a larger danger to its neighbors, the region and ultimately the rest of the world. And best it affords some plausible deniability, where as overt military involvement wouldn't.

Specifically I'd like to see a means to thwart their government from blocking Internet traffic in or out of Iran, e.g. twitter, Facebook, etc.

Offline Ojokernegro

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2010, 12:14:14 AM »
Well, they do pretty much stand alone. If China or Russia seems supportive of Iran, its only for their own reasons I am sure.

My stance: Short of more aggressive and military escalations, subterfuge and cyber warfare seems like the next best option to keep Iran from becoming a larger danger to its neighbors, the region and ultimately the rest of the world. And best it affords some plausible deniability, where as overt military involvement wouldn't.

Specifically I'd like to see a means to thwart their government from blocking Internet traffic in or out of Iran, e.g. twitter, Facebook, etc.

So you personally do not like Iran because to you it is a dangerous nations that is to stopped. I see. Do you mind if I ask you where you're from? Not a question you have to answer, I'll understand if you do mind.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2010, 07:09:28 AM »
Try to keep discussions about the topic and the discussion, not the person who is making the posts, please.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2010, 08:02:15 AM »
Try to keep discussions about the topic and the discussion, not the person who is making the posts, please.

So you personally do not like Iran because to you it is a dangerous nations that is to stopped. I see. Do you mind if I ask you where you're from? Not a question you have to answer, I'll understand if you do mind.

Yeah I'm not sure of your point focusing on where it is I hail from. What difference would that make, what conclusion do you plan to draw from that irrelevant piece of information? If you wish to know, I've made no secret where it is I am from and if you're curious enough you can figure it out for yourself.

Perhaps you should take issue with my words rather than my geographical location.

Offline Jude

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2010, 08:34:24 AM »
It's kind of hard to deny that Iran is a dangerous nation.  I guess it's still an opinion ultimately, but it's well-grounded by fact.  They have nuclear ambitions, a despotic regime, unfriendly relations with Israel, and have been supplying insurgents in Iraq for some time now.

You can differ on the opinion of what to do about Iran, but I imagine it's kind of hard to pretend that the Iranian government is harmless or misunderstood.

Offline Ojokernegro

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2010, 05:49:33 PM »
Try to keep discussions about the topic and the discussion, not the person who is making the posts, please.

No worries I shall do so, I was really just curious. I particularly appreciate the "please" :) ...as I've been addressed to on worse terms by people other mods.

Yeah I'm not sure of your point focusing on where it is I hail from. What difference would that make, what conclusion do you plan to draw from that irrelevant piece of information? If you wish to know, I've made no secret where it is I am from and if you're curious enough you can figure it out for yourself.

Perhaps you should take issue with my words rather than my geographical location.

To be honest I completely forgot that people can expose their location on their profiles, so thank you very much for the subtle hint (I understand it was a rather seemingly out of context question). As for the relevance of that particular information, well, I personally found it somewhat relevant. Very often a person's view depends on where they are located. Not that there's anything wrong with your opinion mind you...and also no, I do not plan to "take issue" with your words nor your location, so no worries there mate.

It's kind of hard to deny that Iran is a dangerous nation.  I guess it's still an opinion ultimately, but it's well-grounded by fact.  They have nuclear ambitions, a despotic regime, unfriendly relations with Israel, and have been supplying insurgents in Iraq for some time now.

You can differ on the opinion of what to do about Iran, but I imagine it's kind of hard to pretend that the Iranian government is harmless or misunderstood.

A dangerous nation...hmmm, a dangerous nation you say. Hmmm...yes...no doubt! Since all they care about is their own interests. I do see your point. Indeed you can label Iran a dangerous nation. Therefore, I'm gonna take a leap here...and state that all nations should aim to be dangerous, as power is freedom. Meaning that in this particular context, dangerous means: a threat to those it (Iran) shall step on to gain power. Which, according to Darwin's rule (which is pretty applicable when it concerns nations) it is only to be expected.

However, the point does remain, Iran is becoming dangerous...but so are (or even will be) all (or some) other countries.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 05:51:24 PM by Ojokernegro »

Offline Jude

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2010, 06:21:04 PM »
Name one other country in the world that publicly calls for the annihilation of another country and possesses (or is trying to) nuclear weapons and I'll concede your point.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2010, 06:36:58 PM »
To be honest I completely forgot that people can expose their location on their profiles, so thank you very much for the subtle hint (I understand it was a rather seemingly out of context question). As for the relevance of that particular information, well, I personally found it somewhat relevant. Very often a person's view depends on where they are located. Not that there's anything wrong with your opinion mind you...and also no, I do not plan to "take issue" with your words nor your location, so no worries there mate.

Indeed. If I hailed from say, the Middle East, I might have even more reason to be concerned by the Iranian regime.

Offline Oniya

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2010, 07:23:34 PM »
Name one other country in the world that publicly calls for the annihilation of another country and possesses (or is trying to) nuclear weapons and I'll concede your point.

There is North Korea, but I think they fall into the 'mad dog' level of dangerousness as well.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2010, 07:49:16 PM »
Personally, I think Isreal is kinda crazy, too, but I'm not sure I'm allowed to actually say that without having to turn in my social security card.

Offline Oniya

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2010, 07:53:23 PM »
I'm sure there are more, but there's crazy like a loon, crazy like a fox, and stone cold crazy (with apologies to Queen).  Some of them pretend to be sane, and you can occasionally take them out to a nice summit meeting.  Others don't even bother.

Offline Ojokernegro

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2010, 09:04:51 PM »
Name one other country in the world that publicly calls for the annihilation of another country and possesses (or is trying to) nuclear weapons and I'll concede your point.

Not many to be honest, if any. Perhaps this is where I should draw the line and understand that Iran is clearly a threat to the whole world? Is that what you would say Jude?

Indeed. If I hailed from say, the Middle East, I might have even more reason to be concerned by the Iranian regime.

Hahahah ^^ fair point. I'm gonna go along with this comment and say: "Especially if you were an Israeli".

Personally, I think Isreal is kinda crazy, too, but I'm not sure I'm allowed to actually say that without having to turn in my social security card.

Whatever you meant by "without having to turn in my social security card".

I'm sure there are more, but there's crazy like a loon, crazy like a fox, and stone cold crazy (with apologies to Queen).  Some of them pretend to be sane, and you can occasionally take them out to a nice summit meeting.  Others don't even bother.

I often wonder if it really comes down to being sane or not. After all these are governments we're talking about.

Offline Jude

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2010, 09:17:45 PM »
I don't think Iran is a threat to the whole world.  If they obtain nuclear weapons they could potentially be, but even then I don't see it being quite so clear cut.  There are a lot of good people in Iran, their populace is rather forward-thinking and want to be liberated from the despotic regime that currently has control over their daily lives.

If the opportunity to go back in time 10 years presented itself and America had the choice between attacking Iraq and liberating its people and attacking Iran and liberating its people, I personally would've chosen Iran.  Its citizens are far more progressive, they're ready for a true Democratic government and quite receptive to western overtures, unlike the leadership of Iran.  Sadly, that does not mean they don't have nuclear ambitions.

I've always gotten the impression that Iran as a whole wanted the bomb as a matter of pride and advancement.  They want to carry the atom bomb as a point of progress; they see nuclear weapons as a milestone towards become a sophisticated and successful civilization.  I think the west is largely to blame for that as we've set up such a dynamic.  Many states are taken seriously the moment they achieve nuclear aspirations -- for good reason -- but it sets up a dynamic where it's a natural part of the progression from third to first world.

I like Obama's nuclear arms policy because he's making strides in changing that thinking.  If the world embraces those concepts we will start to associate a higher degree of civility with advanced civilizations, not a higher degree of lethality.  In the mean time, Iran is a terribly confusing entity:  they are a nation of good people that want to move forward who are led by a dangerous regime that is on a course of opposition with the western world.

Offline Ojokernegro

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2010, 09:54:16 PM »
@ Jude: That would mean that you agree with Obama's desire to make the production of nuclear weapons obsolete, am I right? Meaning that in your view, a country should not spend money on nuclear technology (as I assume, nuclear weapons would result from exploring nuclear tech)...that is assuming that said countries will not need to own WMD in the future. Please tell me if I've misinterpreted you.

"If the opportunity to go back in time 10 years presented itself and America had the choice between attacking Iraq and liberating its people and attacking Iran and liberating its people, I personally would've chosen Iran.  Its citizens are far more progressive, they're ready for a true Democratic government and quite receptive to western overtures, unlike the leadership of Iran.  Sadly, that does not mean they don't have nuclear ambitions."

My question is: is it really that wrong to have nuclear ambitions? Regarding weapons that is. I never once thought that the Iranians decided to invest in nuclear weapons because of feeble things such as pride and advancement, au contraire, I always thought that they did it simply because a nation with WMD is a nation with power, and a nation with power has the ability to fight back if threatened. To put it in better terms, do you not think that countries without nuclear weapons feel somewhat vulnerable? Not knowing what the future shall bring them, they're forced to go along to those who are more powerful than they are out of fear. Is that fair?

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2010, 01:34:40 PM »
Wow, really? Are we really talking about direct intervention to bring about regime change in Iran?

As of now, the large demographic of young, progressive Iranians are indeed leaning towards the West, but the best way ever to turn them against the West is to frikin' invade and occupy them, and expect them to fall in love with you.

While the young Iranians do want a change in the way they are governed, it's best that it's left up to them. Effective political change has always been brought about whenever the locals are the main actors. The way the Brits handled their former colonies in Southeast Asia: how they waged an effective counter-insurgency campaign against ethnic Chinese communist insurgents in the jungles of Malaya and patiently negotiated with the locals for independence by proving that they're capable of self-government attests to that. Like any citizens of any other country, Iranians are quite fiercely proud and loyal of their own country, and the last thing they need is occupation by a foreign power.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2010, 02:36:46 PM »
There is a big difference between stymieing and destabilizing the regime, and actually aiding the population, in part by ensuring the lines of communication remain open (what I'm suggesting), and occupying the country. No, that would be stupid and like you say would only fire up the youth's nationalist pride. Last thing we want to do is to give the Iranian leadership something to point at and say Ah hah! See, they are the Great Satan! We told you...

Subterfuge, cyber warfare, propaganda. Yes. Overt military action? No.

Unless of course they do something really stupid like pop off a nuclear tipped missile. Then turn the country into a parking lot, and airport for our bombers.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2010, 03:54:59 PM »
Subterfuge, cyberwarfare, propaganda? Those are interesting routes to consider, and I reckon that somewhere out there they've already been considered or already have things like this in place. But knowing Israel which acts like USA's spoilt, petulant brat who gets to have a new Mercedes Benz from Daddy for not snorting cocaine for two months, they might end up undermining the whole thing by acting on their own by god knows how: another bungled assassination attempt by the Mossad or some airstrike from out of the blue.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2010, 04:15:42 PM »
Subterfuge, cyberwarfare, propaganda? Those are interesting routes to consider, and I reckon that somewhere out there they've already been considered or already have things like this in place. But knowing Israel which acts like USA's spoilt, petulant brat who gets to have a new Mercedes Benz from Daddy for not snorting cocaine for two months, they might end up undermining the whole thing by acting on their own by god knows how: another bungled assassination attempt by the Mossad or some airstrike from out of the blue.

Well I understand how you feel about it, and our relationship with Israel, Iran and the Middle East as a whole. I would only say that I think its a bit more nuanced than perhaps some like to think. In fact, the United States, as a country and government, has itself in the large picture been something of a Johnny Come Lately to the Middle East. Europe has a far more storied and troubled history in that region than the US. It was largely the Italians, French and British who drew up the arbitrary borders we see now, not the US. I wouldn't say we are blameless by any means, just not at the level of the countries that came before.

Anyhow, I'm getting off track.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2010, 05:05:43 PM »
Yeah, the former European colonial powers screwed up, but it's been exacerbated ever since with all that crackpot religiosity. America has become something of a theocracy when people can forget about being elected if they weren't Christian or Jewish. For all the talk about freedom of religion, somehow the notion that a sitting US president could be a Muslim could be such a heinous offence. And because of this Judeo-Christian myth that the Jews deserve to occupy Israel at all human and moral costs, it's not just sad to see Israel behaving like a cocaine-snorting teen who'd never grow up because of his helicopter parent in the US who'd veto every single discussion about Israel in the UN, now, negotiations on the two-state solution which has been talked to death about has that new complication in Israel's armed forces.

Why? Because there's been an increasingly large proportion of Zionist soldiers who've been taught in pre-enlistment academies with that Zionist propaganda, come out of those schools with a sense of mission and choose to mix with the general population of enlistees, even though there's the option to join the religious-only companies. This way, the Zionists will get to implicitly control more of the military that way. Now that the IDF has so many religious soldiers, some have already publicly put up banners declaring that they'd never want to partake in the evacuation of Jews from the West Bank settlements, and to make things even worse, there's a significant proportion of these Zionists who serve as commanders. While it's one thing to have an individual enlisted man to refuse orders to evacuate the settlers, it's another to have officers to refuse to comply with such orders.

Keeping that potential of rebellion in the military in mind, it's giving the Israelis another reason to refuse to budge in the ongoing negotiations.

Offline Jude

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2010, 04:48:40 AM »
As is, I would not support military intervention in Iran, just as I didn't in Iraq.  I don't believe interventionist, preemptive strikes unless there's a clear and present danger which can be demonstrated convincingly.  I was simply saying that if I had to choose between Iraq and Iran back in 2000whatever, I would've gone for Iran.  They're clearly a much more insidious threat.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2010, 10:24:49 AM »
 That's kind of a little anti-Israel rant there isn't it?  Part of the reason for Israel's military stance is..oh I don't know..  because EVERY neighboring country has tried to repeatedly wipe it out.  Using religion as one of their tools to rally support for their cause.

The leadership of Iran is calling for the actove and open destruction of Israel.  The president of that nation has pretty much said that he will find a way to  remove the nation from the face of the earth. So calling Iran (the leadership) a dangerous regime is accurate.

 Israel has messed up, but as far as I know, they have never started any wars. They were always attacked first.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2010, 10:31:29 AM »
Let's make sure we stay on topic here. Not that I haven't strayed myself. Thanks.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2010, 11:23:01 AM »
 *nods* I will, I just felt I had to point out a few things to him after that rant about Israel.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2010, 01:52:05 AM »
That's kind of a little anti-Israel rant there isn't it?  Part of the reason for Israel's military stance is..oh I don't know..  because EVERY neighboring country has tried to repeatedly wipe it out.  Using religion as one of their tools to rally support for their cause.

The leadership of Iran is calling for the actove and open destruction of Israel.  The president of that nation has pretty much said that he will find a way to  remove the nation from the face of the earth. So calling Iran (the leadership) a dangerous regime is accurate.

 Israel has messed up, but as far as I know, they have never started any wars. They were always attacked first.

I live in a tiny country in southeast Asia (Singapore) where we were surrounded by Muslim-dominant nations in Malaysia to the north, and Indonesia in the south. We were independent after Malaysia (which we used to be a part of) kicked us out during the 60s and expected us to wither and come back crawling and begging to them to rejoin the federation, because our politicians were parading that really heinous idea of racial and religious equality. To top things off, they tried various insidious things to weaken and blackmail us - their government has threatened to cut off our water supply at least several dozen times until we became self-sufficient in water through technology and gave them the finger. Indonesia sent commandos to our shores and carried out terrorist bombings around the island during the very early days of Malaysia, when we were still in that federation.

So, yeah, I reckon I might have a bit of an idea of how it feels like to know that my country was pretty much put in the same position of being surrounded by a bevy of Islamic-dominant nations who didn't like the idea of the formation and existence of a new and small nation. Just like Israel, every male citizen goes for conscription (women don't go because of that Asian-ingrained sexism and how they're supposed to be the mothers, etc) as a big fuck-off if those two clowns entertained any similar thoughts in this day and age.

And the difference? We don't need religion as a rallying cause. In a country like ours', we already learnt that fixating over something as primitive and silly as religion on a national level is disruptive and foolish. People are free to partake in their own spiritual silliness as long as that silliness does not seek to tear apart the fabric of the nation. Just as well, we don't need to break international law and demand a superpower sitting at the UN Security Council to cover for us for those violations with religiously-motivated unconditional vetoes. On top of that, we didn't explicitly support a publicly racist regime in apartheid South Africa.

What we did was to play along with the rules and prosper with it, so that the neighboring countries get to see that, wonder why the heck they haven't been doing it and also play along with those rules. Today, it can be safely said that Indonesia likes us a lot more than their Muslim brethren in Malaysia, and Malaysia frikin' hates Indonesia's guts. That's the result of playing with the rules over the past few decades. Blatantly doing stuff in direct violation of international law will only motivate the neighbors to do the same thing - Israel in my view, deserves the same international oversight and liability just like any other country. They don't deserve special privileges just because some religions said so.

My core point of contention here is that religiosity is just silly, needless, and backfires all too easily. It's one thing to fire up an entire army to kill or defend the land because some intangible 'God' said so, but it's another when it's too far gone, and this 'God' ends up telling them to refuse orders from one's commanders. That kind of nonsense is potentially gonna happen in the IDF if the Middle East peace process goes through and the IDF has to be ordered to evacuate the settlements as part of the deal.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2010, 04:28:00 AM »
Fun fact:

For the first three or four months of existence, Elliquiy was more popular in Singapore than it was in the United States.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2010, 12:13:31 PM »
This is going slightly off tangent again, but..

  Alsheriam, that's all well and good, but you are missing the point. The muslin nations regard the land Israel sits on as theirs. If they conquered it, they own it forever. Israel is a jewish nation and religion is a very strong component in the nation's make up. Unlike Singapore. There are very strong cultural ties with ancient Israel and the religion gives a strong sense nationhood and purpose. Plus the muslim nations around Israel have proven with physical force that they will act militarily to try and wipe out Israel. Iran is currently the worst and a lot of people believe that if they do get their nuke (you have to be naive to believer they are not trying for a nuclear weapon with their current president and clerical council in charge*), they will use it as a club on the nations around them or worse, slip it to a terrorist group like Hezbollah that would use it.

 So Israel has had to use many means to survive. The computer worm that hit Iran might be their's or someone else's. Either way, they are the ones to get the blame.


 * this is personal opinion.

 

Offline Jude

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2010, 06:43:55 PM »
The scariest part is slipping the nuke to terrorists.  That basically amounts to an untraceable operation with ultimate plausible deniability.  The only reason we haven't had nuclear war occur thus far is because countries are accountable for what they do with their weapons to other nuclear armed countries; strip that away and you have absolute global anarchy.  This is why Iran is so dangerous.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2010, 10:04:34 PM »

  Alsheriam, that's all well and good, but you are missing the point. The muslin nations regard the land Israel sits on as theirs. If they conquered it, they own it forever. Israel is a jewish nation and religion is a very strong component in the nation's make up. Unlike Singapore.

Really? Are they so unique? How about these people? I somehow remember that they're also a very spiritual people.






American colonists gave smallpox-infested blankets to the indigenous, in an early form of germ warfare/counter-insurgency

Quote
There are very strong cultural ties with ancient Israel and the religion gives a strong sense nationhood and purpose. Plus the muslim nations around Israel have proven with physical force that they will act militarily to try and wipe out Israel. Iran is currently the worst and a lot of people believe that if they do get their nuke (you have to be naive to believer they are not trying for a nuclear weapon with their current president and clerical council in charge*), they will use it as a club on the nations around them or worse, slip it to a terrorist group like Hezbollah that would use it.

The invading people didn't even need to have a nuke. And given the amount of land that was taken away from them, and the proportion of their population killed off, doesn't that make the Holocaust the 2nd largest mass killing in history? An estimate by the US government put the figure at 1 - 4 million, but that official figure doesn't stand up to scrutiny and ergo ought to be discounted. Another study conducted by independent researchers put the figure between 10 - 114 million as a result of direct US actions. Nazi Holocaust are between 6 - 11 million.

American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) - "over 100 million killed" "[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives"
God, Greed and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries: Grenke (New Academia Publishing 2006)
Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies: Cesarani, (Routledge 2004)


Does that mean that the indigenous American population have a legitimate claim to historical victimhood and deserve to have the entire territories of the US handed to them just because they've had 'strong cultural ties' with the land itself, and also possess a strong religiosity to prove it?

So, despite Ahmadinejad being some kind of a clown President of Iran, the guy lately has been facing a lot of personal challenges to his power by Iranian legislators and other people in positions of power lately. The only reason he's still there is because the Supreme Leader Khamenei supports him, but Ahmadinejad's days in office are numbered. Iran is not North Korea - they're not crazy and not prone to acts of crazy like shelling a neighboring country out of the blue for the sole sake of brinkmanship. As crazy as the state of Iran can turn out to be due to the portrayal by Western media, my analysis is that the Iranian nuclear thing is less of a worry than North Korea right now. I can only reckon that Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons and not playing by the rules, because Israel, who is also in the neighborhood has never been playing by the rules, and Iran sees it fit to match Israel in that regard to secure its interests.

The logic of assigning legitimacy to Israel just because of 'ancient ties to ancient Israel' and religiosity does not add up. If that reason could be the case, it also gives the indigenous Malay population the legitimacy to evict me out of my own country, because I am Chinese and my grandfathers came from China, and the Malays have always had ties to the land after all.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 10:11:54 PM by Alsheriam »

Offline Jude

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2010, 11:11:22 PM »
The invading people didn't even need to have a nuke. And given the amount of land that was taken away from them, and the proportion of their population killed off, doesn't that make the Holocaust the 2nd largest mass killing in history? An estimate by the US government put the figure at 1 - 4 million, but that official figure doesn't stand up to scrutiny and ergo ought to be discounted. Another study conducted by independent researchers put the figure between 10 - 114 million as a result of direct US actions. Nazi Holocaust are between 6 - 11 million.

American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) - "over 100 million killed" "[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives"
God, Greed and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries: Grenke (New Academia Publishing 2006)
Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies: Cesarani, (Routledge 2004)
I'm guessing you missed the part where Christopher Columbus was not a US citizen.  His ships sailed across the seas around 1492.  The United States declared independence in 1776.  I find your words kind of mystifying, "direct US actions."  The US was so badass that it was murdering Native Americans around 300 years before its existence?  That's a Real Ultimate Power style ninja trick.

The 100 million figure, I can only assume, refers to the actions of all Europeans regardless of what national banner they acted under.  Unfortunately you did not cite the source of the US estimate so I can't even begin to dig at your general misuse of the numbers -- which is fine, because all of this is beside the point really.
Does that mean that the indigenous American population have a legitimate claim to historical victimhood and deserve to have the entire territories of the US handed to them just because they've had 'strong cultural ties' with the land itself, and also possess a strong religiosity to prove it?
I agree that it makes little sense to prosecute descendants on the basis of the actions done by their ancestors, but this argument goes both ways.  Israel was established over 60 years ago, it's time to give up the questioning of its right to exist.  What's done is done in that regard.  That doesn't mean certain policies and further usurpation of power and territory shouldn't be questioned, but it should be questioned by the international community in a level-headed way, not by making threats of annihilation like Iran has.
So, despite Ahmadinejad being some kind of a clown President of Iran, the guy lately has been facing a lot of personal challenges to his power by Iranian legislators and other people in positions of power lately. The only reason he's still there is because the Supreme Leader Khamenei supports him, but Ahmadinejad's days in office are numbered. Iran is not North Korea - they're not crazy and not prone to acts of crazy like shelling a neighboring country out of the blue for the sole sake of brinkmanship. As crazy as the state of Iran can turn out to be due to the portrayal by Western media, my analysis is that the Iranian nuclear thing is less of a worry than North Korea right now. I can only reckon that Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons and not playing by the rules, because Israel, who is also in the neighborhood has never been playing by the rules, and Iran sees it fit to match Israel in that regard to secure its interests.
But in what way is Israel a threat to Iran's existence?  Before the Iranian Revolution Israel and Iran had good relations.  When Khamenei took over, Iran's stance changed over night.  You can speculate on what the logic was behind this (identification with Palestine on the basis of racial and religious unity as a likely possibility for example), but it's quite clear that this didn't come about because of something Israel did to Iran.  In fact, in as much as Israel has sinned, their transgressions have nothing to do with Iran.  Recently they have made some military and symbolic overtures against Iran, of course, but that came after decades of provocation.

None of this strikes me as particularly sane behavior.  Sane would've been continuing on as an ally of Israel or at least adopting a stance of neutrality, not publicly hoping for (at best -- at worst calling for the annihilation of; this depends on translation of remarks however) the dissolution of Israel.

They could've done a number of things if Iran was actually interested in creating a better world for the Palestinians.  The Iran of 1978 was in an unique position as a bridge between the Jewish and Muslim world.  Most of the world now recognizes that the only way that Israel and Palestine will ever be at peace is through the formation of a two-state solution where both sides come to the table willing to make sacrifices.  But Iran has chosen to become part of the problem, certainly not the solution, while simultaneously defying the international community in their pursuit of weapons which are capable of threatening the entire world.

Gotta love how they do their press conferences too.  Yep, that looks like sanity to me.  Missiles are capable of diplomacy (if you consider such to be the creation of peace), and thus ambassadors, if you kill all of your enemies (since the dead can scarcely disrupt the peace) -- which I guess they'll soon have be able to do if we turn our back on their nuclear aspirations.  Personally I'm against this given their track record of relations with non-Muslim entities in the past few decades.

EDIT:  A quick Googling of American Holocaust by David Stannard exposes a lot of problems with using that as a resource.  For one, it's an estimation of the number of Native American deaths that Europeans settlers are responsible for, not the United States as I discussed above.  Secondly, the 100 million figure is considered to be overestimated by many even for what it is an estimation of.  Lastly, it adds into the death toll column any deaths that occurred as a result of the diseases that the Europeans brought with them.

Even if you were to argue that some transmissions were intentional and thus deserve to be considered murder (and some were, blankets with Smallpox were handed out in a few incidences for example), it's still quite dubious to associate all of the disease based deaths with those incidents when a lot of transmissions were bound to happen naturally as Europeans and Native Americans came into contact.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 11:27:27 PM by Jude »

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: Computer worm hits Iranian nuclear facilities, biblical references
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2010, 08:24:05 AM »
Bomb attacks have killed a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in Tehran, state TV reported today.

Attackers riding on motorcycles attached the bombs to the car windows of the scientists as they were driving to their workplaces this morning, the station's website said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/29/iran-nuclear-scientist-bomb-attack

Someone is keeping the pressure on Iran.