Trailer: Zero Days (Documentary)
Zero Days is a documentary about the so-called STUXnet virus, a kind of sophisticated malware fabricated by the US and Israeli government to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.
The STUXnet virus, also called OG (Olympic Games) by the NSA who created it (!), can do physical damage to almost every part of equipment in industry and critical infrastructure. It does so by hacking the indstrial operating computer connected to the piece of equipment and changing the parameters that control the function. In the case of Iranian centrifuges for enriching uranium the virus changed the rotation speed in a way that caused the whole centrifuge to shatter, while at the same time telling the supervising system that everything runs as usual and blocking the signal to shut down the facility. It is able to cross the air gap and enter systems that are not directly connected to the internet, stays inactive in the system for some time until it starts its destructive work.
If used on a larger scale, it could shut down and destroy things like power plants, factories, railway networks, airports, havens, traffic control systems and the internet itself, causing unpredictable damage and possible collapse of parts of our civilization – showing once again that our oh-so-beloved civilization is not half as stable and secure as we thought it was.
It stayed unnoticed until the Israeli forces manipulated it to become more aggressive, causing infected computers to shut down all over the world. It spread to almost all computers and got detected and analyzed by antivirus specialists, who soon realized that this is the most dangerous and sophisticated piece of malware ever seen and helped raising awareness with contributing to this documentary.
On a political level this is a big issue, because we have no rules governing the use of cyber weapons as of now. So far the unwritten law is “do whatever you can get away with”, and countries all over the world build cyber armies dedicated to this new kind of warfare.
A parallel is drawn to the first use of a nuclear weapon, since this is also a completely new kind of weapon that got used for the first time. This time the weapon might be even more devastating, because it is intelligent and autonomous, doesn’t rely on being transported and dropped off like a bomb but spreads by itself around the globe in a matter of seconds, stay undetected for long time, and can go off wherever and whenever without warning.
One can imagine what would happen if it falls into the wrong hands (which it already did, thanks to Mossad, the Israeli secret service). This is now out there, and the world has to prepare for what might come.
What sounds like a science-fiction conspiracy theory is actually a well-researched piece of journalism that is eye-opening, fascinating, scary and interesting to watch even for those who don’t care much about technology.