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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Zero Days


USA 2016
Opening September 1, 2016

Directed by: Alex Gibney
Writing credits: Alex Gibney
Principle actors: Documentary

Zero Days In June of 2010, a security company called VirusBlokAda discovered a worm, later called Stuxnet, which had infected thousands of computers across the globe. It soon became clear that this worm was an attack which had accidentally begun to spread beyond its intended target. Using interviews from the specialists who were involved in discovering the worm, along with anonymous statements from government contractors, Zero Days presents the claim that Stuxnet was developed by a joint American/Israeli operation to not only destroy Iranian enrichment centrifuges, but also to threaten attacks against the Iranian civilian infrastructure. It also addresses the concern that this attack has opened the door for future cyber warfare which could have a devastating effect on civilian populations.

Zero Days is a fascinating examination of the potential havoc that cyber warfare can wreak on the world in the future. The amount of time and research put into the documentary clearly shows, and despite the large amount of information that is relayed throughout, it is done in such a manner that it is accessible to those who are not tech-savvy. With each piece of evidence director Alex Gibney makes a compelling point that Stuxnet was not just some random attack, but one that was targeted against American enemies and that it just might have opened Pandora’s Box. While it is informative, at times it begins to stray a bit too much into fear-mongering territory, but the argument can also be made that the majority of those watching don’t realize just how much damage a piece of malware like Stuxnet can do to the infrastructure of a country. Everything from our street lamps to our banks are dependent upon computers, and it is currently possible to create a piece of malware which has the ability to shut down all of these things within an instant. Zero Days makes it clear that the world is dependent upon internet security and raises the point that perhaps there is a need to create more oversight on the cyber warfare tactics of our governments. ()

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