The Bomber Always Gets Through

Analysis on the 2021 Natanz attacks from someone who responded to Stuxnet

Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility

So, what happened in Natanz?

It has only been 24 hours since the attack on Natanz occurred. Details are scant at the time of this writing, but the broad strokes are below:

Pepperidge Farm remembers

Stuxnet, the first malware to strike Natanz in 2010 and arguably the first “digital weapon” unleashed by a state sponsored hacker to physically sabotage an adversary. As a recent college grad, I worked on the collective community response to Stuxnet.

Was this really even a cyberattack?

The difficulty in crossing the air gap to deploy Stuxnet begs serious questions about whether the 2021 Natanz attacks were really cyberattacks

Was cyberwarfare the “safe” option?

Unlike what happened in Stuxnet, the Iranian government and the Israeli government (whom Iran openly blames for the attack) have been surprisingly transparent about the 2021 Natanz attack.

TL;DR

We are in the very early days of what is likely to be another historic geopolitical cyberattack. If Stuxnet has anything to tell us about the 2021 Natanz blackout, it’s likely that we minimally understand what happened and the full context around the attack.

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Principal PM for Cryptography and Security Products @HashiCorp. Formerly Defense/NatSec & Crypto @NetApp, VC @GGVCapital + @AmplifyPartners

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Andy Manoske

Principal PM for Cryptography and Security Products @HashiCorp. Formerly Defense/NatSec & Crypto @NetApp, VC @GGVCapital + @AmplifyPartners