Pundits and policy wonks have long wondered how long Israel will forbear to swat at Iran, if it believes that 1) its existential nemesis is secretly weaponizing its nuclear capability and, 2) the US declines to act.
If this former spook is correct, the battle may already be on:
The opening salvo came in the form of a cyber attack against Iranian industrial and nuclear sites, using the Stuxnet worm, described as “the most sophisticated malware ever…”
While the origin of the worm has not been confirmed, Israel has been pegged as a likely suspect. Israeli defense forces and intelligence services have robust cyber-warfare capabilities, and Stuxnet could prove an excellent tool for crippling key Iranian facilities, including the nuclear power plant at Bushehr, which was recently fueled with Russian assistance.
And, it wouldn’t be the first time Israel has used a computer network attack against one of its foes. Just after midnight local time on 6 September 2007, IAF jets destroyed a suspected nuclear facility deep inside Syria. Air defense assets never responded to the Israeli raid, raising suspicions that Syrian radar and missile sites were disabled prior to the air strike with a cyber attack.
A “war without borders” indeed.