NYT: President Obama Grew Concerned About Stuxnet Cyber Attack

Posted Jun 1, 2012

Hillary Clinton and Meir Dagan announced in January 2011 that Iran’s ability to enrich uranium for developing bombs had been set back. The Stuxnet computer worm was one of the most resourceful tools used to prevent uranium enrichment. The New York Times recently put together a report about the Stuxnet computer worm code-named “Olympics Games,” which was put together by the U.S. government under the Bush administration. The “Olympic Games” computer worm was designed specifically to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities. Stuxnet specifically targeted Siemens industrial equipment to spin centrifuges to their breaking points. But what if the computer worm got into the wrong hands?

“Should we shut this thing down?” asked President Obama one day when he grew concerned about whether the worm escaped in the summer of 2010. This was after President Obama decided to accelerate attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. President Obama was told that the attacks were successful and he wanted the attacks to continue as the worm disabled 1,000 out of the 5,000 centrifuges. The New York Times interviewed current and former American, European, and Israeli officials involved in the “Olympic Games.”

Going forward, President Obama has warned against using cyber weapons to target other countries. Intelligence officials have revealed that the U.S. has considered many more attacks than what has already been done.