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Stuxnet Leak Probe Targets Retired US General

  • VOA News

In this Dec. 16, 2010, photo, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. James Cartwright listens as President Barack Obama speaks about the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review at the White House in Washington.

In this Dec. 16, 2010, photo, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. James Cartwright listens as President Barack Obama speaks about the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review at the White House in Washington.

U.S. media report that a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information about a secret cyberattack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

NBC News and The Washington Post said that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating retired Marine General James Cartwright for allegations that he provided reporters with information about the covert computer virus, Stuxnet.

The Post said Stuxnet was part of a broader cyber operation called" Olympic Games" that was created under President George W. Bush. The New York Times newspaper reported last year that Cartwright ran the operation.

Iran's government said in November 2010 that a computer virus had temporarily disabled Iranian nuclear enrichment efforts.

What is Stuxnet?

-Computer virus that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010
-Spread by infected removable drives, such as USB drives
-Attacks Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems that control large scale industrial facilities
-Allows attackers to monitor and control SCADA systems
-Media reports say Stuxnet was part of a broader U.S. cyber operation

The investigation of the leak about the Iran cyberattack is one of several national security leak investigations under the Obama administration.

Congressional leaders called for the criminal probe into who leaked the information. U.S. President Barack Obama has said his administration will not tolerate such leaks.

Republicans claimed the operation was leaked to increase Obama's national security credentials while he was running for reelection.

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