Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright has recently gotten into the attention of the Justice Department with the accusations of revealing secret information regarding Stuxnet. The former officer has allegedly given out a lot of sensitive details regarding the famous computer virus. Stuxnet was initially discovered in 2010 and its primary mission was to affect and perhaps disable the Iranian nuclear energy facilities.
Aged 63, James Cartwright is now being probed for leaking the respective details. Before retiring, he was a four star general. He was held responsible for the cyber operations with military purposes between 2007 and 2011. The general had the freedom to run, oversee and make the most important decisions in the cyber field. Therefore, the Stuxnet virus was also launched during his time.
The former general has not given out too many details and precise dates. It is hard to tell when the virus was actually released. One thing is for sure though – the Iranian experts have detected it in 2010. It used to operate like a malware script affecting a particular control system. The same system is used by multiple industries across the world, whether they deal with oil rigs or water supplies. Moreover, it is also used by numerous power plants.
The United States of America had a clear objective in mind when the virus was first launched – targeting Iran's main facilities. However, it also got to affect plenty of industrial computers on other continents as well. Iran was a main target, while many other countries ended up as collateral victims. It was a high risk the United States of America took, but it was proven to be in vain. Aside from the obvious goal to affect Iran, most sources claim that the primary target was the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
In the first summer day of 2012, The New York Times has released a series of other details regarding the Stuxnet virus. It seems this is not the only virus targeting the Iranian facilities. Instead, the American cyber force has released multiple malware scripts that were supposed to attack the targets from multiple directions. All the respective digital attacks were included in one coded category – “Olympic Games”. It seems the orders were given directly by President Barack Obama and were about to precede a military attack as well. However, since taking down the nuclear enrichment facilities of Iran was proven to be nothing but a useless attempt, the military attack never came.
According to the same leaks, it looks like the Stuxnet virus was built in a tight collaboration with an intelligence corp from Israel. With all these, the Iranian specialists identified and killed the worm in no time. Therefore, the country's resources were not affected in any way. Moreover, the Iranian government has created a cyber defensive force, with the primary purpose to scan and detect any similar worms. Whether their mission is to destroy a system, steal some information or transmit high security details, all the potential attacks are now professionally being taken care of.
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