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Obama Ordered Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran
The New York Times dropped a bombshell last week: President Obama began ordering cyberattacks on Iran within days of taking office.
The story, which is a must-read, finally confirms what many cybersecurity experts have suspected: the Stuxnet worm, which disabled industrial equipment in Iran and Europe, was originally designed by Israel and the U.S. to slow down Iran's nuclear enrichment plant. The virus' escape from Iran's Natanz plant and subsequent discovery in Germany in 2010 was a mistake that U.S. authorities blamed on Israel. Former CIA chief Michael Hayden also acknowledged to the Times that Stuxnet is the first major cyberattack intended to cause physical destruction (to Iranian centrifuges). "Somebody crossed the Rubicon," he said.The article includes a history of the classified cyberweapons program, dubbed "Olympic Games," which began under President Bush, and includes details of how President Obama decided that digital attacks were preferable to a potential military conflict between Iran and Israel. But the bottom line is that President Obama (and his predecessor) ordered a sophisticated campaign of cyberattacks against Iran's nuclear program, and has either attacked or considered attacking networks in China, Syria, and North Korea as well. The Obama administration previously acknowledged that it might respond to cyberattacks with physical force, but the report makes it clear that even as the U.S. was making those threats, it was perpetrating cyberattacks on the very nations it accuses of targeting its networks.
Read the article on the New York Times.
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