Friday, June 1, 2012

Sanger on Stuxnet in the NYT

The New York Times is running quite the bombshell article today: Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

The article itself is massive, and apparently draws from Sanger's book on the subject: Confront and Conceal, scheduled to be published next Tuesday.

Like so much of modern "national security" journalism, Sanger presents a huge amount of information, with almost no concrete sources for any of it, essentially asking his readers to trust him on the accuracy:

This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

It's explosive stuff, and fascinating. Keep your eyes on this story, I suspect it will be developing rapidly.

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