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  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Jun 28, 2013 6:28 AM Flag

    OT: Stuxnet Leaker Probed

    WASHINGTON — A former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities, according to media reports.

    Retired Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright has been told he is a target of the probe, NBC News and The Washington Post reported Thursday. A "target" is someone a prosecutor or grand jury has substantial evidence linking to a crime and who is likely to be charged.

    The Justice Department referred questions to the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore, where a spokeswoman, Marcia Murphy, declined to comment.

    The investigation of the leak about the Iran cyberattack is one of a number of national security leak investigations that have been started by the Obama administration, including ones involving The Associated Press and Fox News.
    In June 2012, the New York Times reported that Cartwright was a crucial player in the cyber operation called Olympic Games, started under President George W. Bush.

    According to the Times, Obama ordered the cyberattacks sped up, and in 2010 an attack using a computer virus called Stuxnet temporarily disabled 1,000 centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

    Congressional leaders demanded a criminal probe into who leaked the information, and Obama said he had zero tolerance for such leaks. Republicans said senior administration officials had leaked the details to bolster the president's national security credentials during the 2012 campaign.

    The Times said Cartwright was one of the crucial players who had to break the news to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Stuxnet at one point had escaped onto the Internet.

    After the worm escaped onto the Internet, top administration officials met to consider whether the program had been fatally compromised.

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    • Something in that story doesn't compute. I'll be interested to see the follow-up.

      • 1 Reply to sponge_bob_is_no_square
      • You are right. It does seem suspicious.

        Why would someone that senior be leaking to the NY Times? One possibility is that he was told to. By the time the NY Times story was published, Iran had already identified the virus and was taking steps to mitigate its effects. Letting Iran know who was responsible could have been part of a psy-ops operation.

        Otherwise, it's hard to fathom why Cartwright would leak - unless he dislikes the administration and thought that leaking the information would embarrass them. But one would think anyone who rose that high in the ranks would embrace such petty reasons for divulging secrets.