Confirmed: Stuxnet developed by US, Israel

President Barack Obama boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before starting a trip to Minnesota and Illinois, June 1, 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing

Cyberattacks against Iran started by Bush, and Obama continued them enthusiastically. A programming error let malware escape and become known as Stuxnet.

When Stuxnet was discovered in the summer of 2010, the administration wondered if they should pull the plug. But the chance of slowing Iran's nuclear weapon development was too important, so the program continued (Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran). Reportedly, 1,000 of Iran's 5,000 centrifuges were damaged or destroyed by Stuxnet.

Given the code name of Olympic Games when development started in 2006, getting Stuxnet into secure Iranian nuclear plants involved USB thumb drives and the cooperation of Israel. A combination of spies and innocents introduced Stuxnet early on, but later versions gained entry in more sophisticated ways.

War has gone cyber

The US has been under cyber-attack for years: from nation states, nation-sponsored industrial espionage & sabotage, affiliated and unaffiliated hacktivists and hacktorists. The war is on, it's no secret.

David Schulz, CIPP on

Is there any way in which this cannot be considered an act of war? Because I cannot think of one.

Interactive Civilian on

It's a new cold war. Eventually Iran will write viruses in return to attack US power grid.

ck2 on

I'd argue that this was the opposite of an "act of war," as it was designed to prevent one.

LamboP on


Wasn't the US all up in arms about how China was increasingly using cyber-warfare on both foreign government and corporate interests?

bobsy on

You just wonder how someone could just write a book about all this hacking activity... while it's still current....

HarryD on

The fact that the NYT published this piece is interesting. Assume all details are true. Why did the dog bark rather than choose to be silent?

plhiliphodgen on


Seem like the U.S. government can't seem to keep anything under wraps anymore.

Danny Lascano on

So why on Earth are all these officials speaking about this? Whether or not you think it was justified, what's the sense in saying, "yur, that was totally an act of cyberwar by us lol"?

AlexIsAlex on

All fun and games until Homeland Security Theater is given new powers to raid your home and shoot your dog if they think your computer is being used as part of a botnet.

ck2 on

What is your guess for the timeframe of a major Internet outage blamed on cyberwarfare? Tell us below.

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