U.S. admits cyberattacks on Iran, others

Stuxnet, Duqu were part of 'Olympic Games' campaign of sabotage and espionage

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Since late in the Bush administration the United States has been conducting cyberwar operations intended to slow, disrupt or damage Iran's effort to enrich nuclear material for either nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons, depending on whose interpretation you believe.

Under the Obama administration those cyberwar efforts – code-named Olympic Games – accelerated, eventually exposing part of its operations after a programming error allowed the Stuxnet malware to spread beyond Iran's Natanz nuclear-material refinement plant and infect servers in other countries, according to a New York Times story published this morning.

Stuxnet was developed as a joint project between the United States and Israel, as Iranian officials and critics of U.S. policy have charged, according to the Times, which credits no specific source for the first-ever confirmation.

The story credits interviews with American, Israeli and European officials who were actually involved in the program that distributed Stuxnet and other malware, but would not allow their names to be used because the whole project is still classified.

The report is based on a forthcoming book by NYT reporter David Sanger, who has covered the issue all along, but never had on-the-record confirmations from U.S. officials that they were working on cyberweapons or conducting cyberwarfare until a series of frank admissions made during the past two months:

Photo Credit: 

Reuters

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