Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stuxnet /Fukushima: Connected? Why and Why not.

Two commentors in yesterday's post asked me if I had checked out the Stuxnet/Fukushima angle. While I was aware that a possible connection has been made, until today, I had not checked it out.
A-13 had previously blogged on it, so here is the link to that post.

I took some time to read up on it today.

First some background for those who may not be aware of what Stuxnet is and who the two nations were behind it's creation. I have a number of posts on the worm, you can find them here and here.

If you don't want to take the time to read those posts, very quickly, Israel and the US created Stuxnet to attack Iran's nuclear power station. The worm allegedly went "wild" and made it's way to China. I question that premise! Honestly, I can easily see China being an intended target of this type of cyber attack. The West (US/UK/Israel) or as I call them the NATO allies have China's demise on their mind. But, story for another day!

It was reported that Stuxnet had shown up in Japan. You can find that here. Quoting from this article-

"Stuxnet, a computer virus designed to attack servers isolated from the Internet, such as at power plants, has been confirmed on 63 personal computers in Japan since July, according to major security firm Symantec Corp.

The virus does not cause any damage online, but once it enters an industrial system, it can send a certain program out of control.

Symantec says the virus reaches the servers via USB memory sticks, and warns against the careless use of such devices.

Systems at power plants, gas stations and water facilities are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber-attacks."

According to this article power plants are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber attack. If this reporting is accurate the power plants could not have been infected via the internet.

But there is another twist to this story. Security at Fukushima was set up by an Israeli firm.

The system includes cameras and a warning system, enabling the facility's security staff to monitor anyone attempting to trespass onto the site or damage the perimeter fence.

So, a connection can definitely be made between potential Israeli espionage and the Fukushima power plant. But, why would they do it? What is the gain? I am not sure.

My first problem with the Stuxnet/Fukushima connection is the age of the reactors in Japan. These are old reactors in Japan, the Mark 1, is forty plus years old? Would these reactors contain the same components that Stuxnet is designed to target, components that the newer reactors in Iran and China would contain? I don't know? If anyone does know, feel free to share your thoughts.

My second problem is GE or TEPCO could be held less accountable, or not accountable at all, for their part in what will be the worst nuclear disaster this planet has seen to date. Tales of Stuxnet worm infections could get them off the hook, so to speak. They do not deserve to be off the hook! Stuxnet or not, bad management, lax safety and nuclear power as a whole are still the bigger issues.

hook + worm =hookworm (pun intended)

But, if there is a connection between Stuxnet and the Fukushima disaster , it is pretty tenuous.

I am not saying impossible, I am just saying not absolutely convincing.

For reasons I will expand upon below-

As I mentioned in this post, the Mark 1 plant had all kinds of clearly defined problems, known and documented in the '70's

Then the numerous safety infractions at the plants, you know cost-cutting. Some of that is covered in this article Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear power

Past nuclear accidents-

In 1999, fuel-reprocessing workers were reported to be using stainless steel buckets to hand-mix uranium in flagrant violation of safety standards at the Tokaimura plant. Two workers later died

— At least 37 workers were exposed to low doses of radiation at a 1997 fire and explosion at a nuclear reprocessing plant operated in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo. The operator, Donen, later acknowledged it had initially suppressed information about the fire.

— Hundreds of people were exposed to radiation and thousands evacuated in the more serious 1999 Tokaimura accident involving JCO Co. The government assigned the accident a level 4

— In 2007, a powerful earthquake ripped into Japan’s northwest coast, killing at least eight people and causing malfunctions at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plan

Safety Violations dating way back!

In one case, Tepco's 17 nuclear reactors were temporarily shut down after it admitted in 2002 that it had falsified inspection findings and covered up serious flaws for 16 years. The company's president and four other executives resigned after the news became public.

In 2004, Kansai Electric's officials at the Mihama plant conceded they had not acted on safety warnings before a corroded pipe burst, spewing superheated steam that killed four workers. (The steam was not radioactive.)

It wasn't until 2007 that Hokuriku Electric Power Co. revealed that its Shika nuclear plant had a critical accident in 1999.

Typical corporate capitalist type stuff. Cover up, lie, fabricate, obfuscate, cut corners all in the name of maximizing profits.

Reviewing whole scenario-

Poorly built (cost cutting), aging nuclear reactors + numerous previous safety violation + multiple previous nuclear accidents + earthquake + tsunami = massive disaster!

That all said, can I rule out an attack by Stuxnet? With the limited information available? No. What I can say for certain is with all the other variables mentioned above, and all the problems with nuclear power in general. Fukushima was a disaster just waiting for a catalyst, and it had any number of them, Stuxnet aside.


  1. I don`t understand , what does physical security of the plant has to do with unfolding disaster at Fukushima ? What`s your point ?

  2. I don`t understand , what does physical security of the plant has to do with unfolding disaster at Fukushima ? What`s your point ?

  3. I'm not an engineer, but I have worked with PLC's and microcontrollers. I don't know how long the Siemens chip in question

    has been manufactured, but a plant built in the 70's would almost definitely have had most of its control systems replaced by

    now, both in the reactor and in the backup generator systems.

    Stuxnet spread across the internet just like any worm or virus, but didn't do anything malicious to the host PC, so it went

    undetected until it likely had a global foothold. It jumps to non-internet connected hardware by way of a USB drive, something

    a process engineer might routinely use to transfer data between a PC to a control system. So, it's quite plausible that

    Fukishima, as well as a number of other infrastructure systems could have been infected by now. It is also quite feasible that

    Stuxnet has several targets programed into it, ready to go off under any variety of circumstances, such as when a seismic

    detector at the plant triggers a shutdown and backup procedure.

    Having said that, it seems more plausible that were it sabotage, the Israeli security people had ready access to do what

    they wish without relying on a worm which may or may not have made it into the plant, and they could take advantage of that

    fact, even remotely.

    The Fukishima/Stuxnet scenario presumes HAARP is exactly what people think it is. While somewhat plausible, it remains

    quite a stretch. I've also read theories that this disaster was caused because Japan planned to refuse an IMF loan, based

    on the fact that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was to visit on the 11th, and allegedly postponed his visit until after the quake, not

    something I could readilly confirm. I've also read this was done because the protocalls have been circulated widely in Japan

    for some time, and they are a monocultural, racially prejudiced society, ie, they're on to the Jews. (not to knock Suraci, I am a big, big


    They must get a kick knowing we believe they're all powerful.

    There's an interview

    circulating where the guest suggests the backup generator's fuel tanks were carried away with the tsunami. I've also read

    that 3 GE employees resigned in protest over design flaws in the cooling system. I've read questioning over

    the wisdom of building flat/broadside buildings facing the sea in a tsunami zone, versus a round building able to break the

    wave like a bridge pier. That, in addition to all of the corner-cutting measures and previous incidents you mentioned.

    So, I am in agreement Penny, you're right. The situation does warrant some rational analyses, and there are plenty of guilty


  4. Perhaps you should read the post again?

    I am talking about a possible connection between the stuxnet virus and the meltdown at Fukushima.

    I am not quite sure what you are asking me?

  5. BTw:

    is this you?
    Provo, Utah, United States
    Connect Public Relations ( [Label IP Address]

    No referring link

    It appears you are linked to a Public Relations Firm?
    Connect PR

    Connect PR has been our sole focus for 15 years. Our extensive network of analyst and press contacts enable us to place more than 1700 article placements a month. Come see why Connect is the leading PR firm for connectivity companies.

    If this is you, I have to ask what is your point?
    More importantly, who is your client?

  6. hi Pen,
    The Fukushima complex was upgraded in recent years by a company part owned by Siemens the manufacturers of the s 7 controllers that the stuxnet worm was designed to attack.

    Ten technicians employed by this company (jointly owned with teh state owned french company whose name escapes me for the moment) were on site at the time of the earthquake and high-tailed out of there pronto.
    details are on the winter patriot community blog. I'll try and dig the links out later.
    My opinion is that the worm is very much involved. though it is not the only cause of the troubles by a long shot.

    if anybody wants to go looking in the meantimethey could start here
    and/or here

    McJ has done a lot of good work on the stuxnet worm going back a while. see here

    cheers, James

  7. forget this link

    (it's about libya!)

  8. I was forgetting A13's good work on this
    Worm in the works

    Here's a whole list of links on Stuxnet and Nuclear reactors incl Fukushima

    Stuxnet and Fukushima Daiichi

  9. Oh no, I gave my input and it was taken down as spam. The formatting was messed up because I wrote it in notepad and copied it over.

    It were not I who posted from "Connect Public Relations" - but it's funny when you catch them.

  10. Hey anonymous # 3!
    I found two comments in my spam folder. It is frustrating to me that this continues to happen.

    Are you the same individual that left the first two comments?

    If so could you use a letter to identify yourself.
    I have one person who posts anonymously but signs of with an r, it just makes it so much easier for me to respond to the correct post.


  11. RE: the PR firm.
    They are like the proverbial fly on shit.....sometimes, excuse the vulgarity.
    PR firms, government hacks, law firms, they all make their appearances at some point in time.

    I never quite know how they find the blog, but, they do?!

  12. James: thanks for all the links!
    I have more to say, but, am short on time, it is a birthday day in our house and I have a special meal in the oven.

  13. My understanding of the situation is the same as anonymous' (@9:52).

    All those links will put you into the spam folder. Blogger is programmed to do that with three or four links (forget which number)

    It will also do it sometimes because it can, of course!

  14. Whew!

    James, I am taking a break from bday celebrations here.

    Anonymous @ 9:52 made alot of terrific points. Exactly in alignment with what I was saying in my post.

    There are so many problems in the entire situation at Fukushima, the blame cannot be laid on the doorstep of just one worm.

    I will say this about Stuxnet.
    True justice would see the creators of stuxnet tried and possibly hung.

    Or something else?

    What kind of devastation could these evil people bring on to the people of the planet?

    The disdain for humanity, the utter contempt for life that is demonstrated by creating such a cyber attack vehicle.

    When I think about it. I am left speechless.

  15. No 'mam, I did not do the first two posts. I don't know why I don't just stick with a handle. Funny what some people get paid to do, while you're doing something productive and not getting paid a dime for it ;)

    James - thanks for the tip, and the links.

    Penny, the question is, what should we hang them by?

  16. I hope the dinner went well, Pen!

    no worries, Michael. As to what to hang 'em by. The answer would be obvious if they had any. But they don't.

  17. Penny,

    I left you a long comment over at the Winter Patriot Community regarding this. I decided to do this because I would need to break it up into 2 or more comments to post it here and because it needed some formatting to make it understandable. Also, it has a lot of links in it and I thought it may end up in your spam file. I have information spread all over the place regarding the possible Stuxtnet connection to the Japan nuclear crisis so it was a good way to consolidate some of it. I left it below the original post I did on the Stuxnet virus and the Siemens connection. You can find the comment titled 'Comment for Penny re:Stuxnet' at the link.

  18. Michael:

    YES! a name makes this all go better.

    It is funny what some get paid to do.
    While I do this as a hobby, because I have always been a bit of a news addict. Not for the bullshit kind, but for what is underneath the surface.

    I guess this is a way of living out the dream of being a sort of journalist. Though I don't know why I say sort of, what passes for "journalism" in this day and age is pr releases and advertising.

    Did you happen to notice that the PR firm that checked out this post has Extensive connections to the press, allowing them to place 1700 articles yearly!!

    Think about that, they are ghost writing for the msm.

    No wonder we never get anything remotely real or factual

    Just amazing to me.

    What should we hang them by?
    Well James suggested something..

    Me I was thinking hanging, or guillotine? But then that is awfully quick.
    Maybe that is to good for all the psychopaths.

    Something slow and painful might be in order?

  19. and mcj

    I was over there and thanks so much for doing that for me.


  20. Thanks for your kind words on my comment over at the WP Community. I think you made your point that the Fukushima plants were a disaster waiting to happen, very well. :) I added the information to build on your post as well as on Michael's excellent comments. When I first read about a possible HAARP connection, I admit I didn't give it much credence however after doing a bit or research coupled with the information I had gathered on Stuxtnet I am finding the idea more plausible. If you read this article by David Nabhan - and this interview with Dr. James McCanney you start to come around to the idea that it may well be possible to predict when earthquakes will occur. So, one could hypothesize a sabotage situation using a 1,2,3,4 punch. Solid information about the timing of a large earthquake about to occur off the coast of Japan + a help along by HAARP + Fukushima reactors being a disaster waiting to happen + the deployment of the Stuxnet virus. As for the reasons for doing this, it could have been meant as a stark warning to Russia and China. I just don't put anything past the evil one. :)

  21. Woops, that should read Evil Ones of EF's if you like. :=)

  22. arrgh - it looks like that last comment I just posted went missing. Check your spam.

  23. Hey McJ!

    the spam file is regularly consuming comments.

    I will check that out.

    I haven't given much thought to the HAARP angle-
    Just covering the amount of information I have to read to make a post takes all the spare time I have.

    So leaving the link is great, because it gives me a starting point.

    ttyl McJ!


    An Australian nuclear physicist says engineers have not given a
    satisfactory answer as to why the cooling systems at two Japanese
    power plants are failing. ....

    "These reactors have so many levels of back-up that the loss of
    primary power and then the loss of secondary power shouldn't have
    been enough to compromise the most critical element of a reactor,
    which is the cooling system.

    "I think we're yet to learn all of the issues that are emerging or
    that were triggered by the earthquake."

  25. Penny, the possessive "its" does not use an apostrophe. Sorry, it's just grammar, but... ;-)

  26. last anonymous; I am unsure of where the grammatical area appears.
    And as much as I strive to be grammatically correct..I miss some stuff, but, I am not going to get to upset about it. The info is the priority.

    Besides, have you noted the grammar out of the msm, and they are getting paid.??

  27. anonymous 8:02 am

    did I read somewhere about a blackout that caused the back up generators to fail?

    Had you seen or heard anything to that affect?

    Thinking it was Keith Harmon Snow that spoke of that....

  28. hi,

    late comment, but wanted to thank you for your work. I was curious about strange links on stuxnet and siemens fukushima plant, and was truly surprised by the annonymous comment, thank you for letting us know about its ip location, this story gets even more strange, as you said who can be paid for that.... have good day from europe

  29. Hello sk!

    comments late or on time are always, well for the most part, good to read.

    Yes, PR firms show up to leave off topic, or misleading comments.
    I guess that is what they get paid to do.

    If not them, then it is all the other snoopers ...

    Glad you enjoyed the post
    And thank you for reading it!

  30. hello -- in addition to thanking you, would like to add this new (at least to me) development -- which gives some plausible motivation/context to frame the inquiry:


    -- i found the main article there most interesting -- and Stuxnet is only the beginning of why....

    once again thank you.

  31. Hello femalefaust!

    If I may just shorten that to ff, for brevity?

    First off your welcome.
    Thanks for reading what I had wrote, I did check out what you have posted and have actually run into that story already.
    I see you wish to verify information.
    Always the best course of action.

    When I have more time I will stop over at your place and leave you some additional info to check out.
    Things I have looked into here.