Director: Alex Gibney
Cast: David Sanger, Emad Kiyaei,, Eric Chien
Language: English, Farsi, German, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian with English subtitles
Country of Origin: USA 2016 116 mins (tbc)
Released by Guerilla Films
'STUXnet,' a self-replicating computer 'worm', a viral superstar clothed in secrecy, that can take control of machines and command them to self-destruct. Part of a wider plan, code named 'Nitro Zeus' and presented as a back up in case Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu struck Iran's nuclear facilities which could have drawn the US into hostilities, it was the untraceable enemy within which could destroy Iran's infrastructure - power grids, transport systems, water treatment plants, communication systems, and air defences. An unannounced meltdown, and not a shot fired. Quite a card to hold at the negotiating table. Fast forward to President Obama's Iran deal.
George W. Bush caught up with the chaotic implications of the Iraq invasion and Iran's assumed emerging nuclear capability, sanctioned a cyber warfare agenda against Iran linking the NSA, CIA, the Defence Department with Israel and Mossad. Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated, Iran's nuclear facility in Natanz, targeted and the centrifuges set to self-destruct and not a shot fired. Iran counter attacked with a cyber attack on American banks and the rest is history. A 'wall of secrecy' was in place until it was blown by an Israeli software variant and the new Obama Administration wasn't happy. Pandora's cyber warfare box was open.
Alex Gibney's intriguing documentary unravels the story of STUXnet with 'no comment' talking heads, the New York Times David Sanger offering a balanced critical perspective and suggestions of an espionage thriller touch with actress Joanne Tucker filmed through a filter repeating the testimony of officials.
It's a bit of a slog through computer jargon and computer code but it's an attention grabbing, wake up call to realise that the undeclared aggressor is written in PHP code and protected by a wall of silence. Neither the US nor the Israeli Government have publicly admitted that it happened , nor have they taken responsibility for it. It's a super secret spying cyber war with potential for an offensive attack. Grizzly Steppe's out there and headlines remind us that the Cold War's back with cyber interference in the Trump-Clinton Presidential election. Grizzly Steppe's out there. No bullet, just a click of the mouse. That's terrifying.
Know your enemy. Are you kidding.