In the end, Stuxnet may have set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions by years. But it also could prove a Pyrrhic victory for its still-unknown creator ”“ a sophisticated cyberweapons nation state that [ Ralph] Langner argues could be the US or Israel. Like the Hiroshima bomb, Stuxnet demonstrated for the first time a dangerous capability ”“ in this case to hackers, cybercrime gangs, and new cyberweapons states, he says in an interview.
With Stuxnet as a “blueprint” downloadable from the Internet, he says, “any dumb hacker” can now figure out how to build and sell cyberweapons to any hacktivist or terrorist who wants “to put the lights out” in a US city or “release a toxic gas cloud.”
What follows are excerpts of Langner’s comments from an extended interview: