recommended reading

Report: Secret cyberwar against Iranian nukes began under Bush

J. Scott Applewhite/AP file photo

In an attempt to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. and Israel initiated a series of cyberattacks against an Iranian enrichment plant, according to The New York Times.

The U.S. has recently acknowledged developing cyberweapons but to this point has not admitted using them. Suspicions were raised with the discovery of the "Stuxnet" worm in 2010. The Times reports that the worm was part of a program, begun under President George W. Bush, that aimed to disrupt the centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. It was released onto the web due to a programmer’s error.

A new cyberweapon called Flame was recently discovered to have attacked Iranian computers, and while The Times says that Flame was not part of the program used against Iran, officials declined to say whether the U.S. was responsible for it.

It is not clear how effective the attacks had been. Administration officials say Iran’s efforts have been set back by 18 months to two years, but other outside experts are more skeptical.

Israel’s involvement in the attack was crucial, according to The Times. A secret Israeli unit aided the Americans in developing the worm that would attack Iran’s computers. The Times reports that the U.S. also had a second motive in employing the Israelis: to forestall a military strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Threatwatch Alert

Cyber espionage / Spear-phishing

Russia-Linked Hacker Unit Targets French Presidential Election

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.