According to legal sources, retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been notified that he’s under investigation for allegedly leaking information about a massive attack using a computer virus named Stuxnet on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Gen. Cartwright, 63, becomes the latest alleged leaker targeted by the Obama administration, which has already prosecuted or charged eight individuals under the Espionage Act.
Last year, the New York Times reported that Cartwright, a four-star general who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 2007 to 2011, conceived and ran the cyber operation, called Olympic Games, under President Bush. President Obama ordered the cyberattacks sped up, and in 2010 an attack using the Stuxnet worm temporarily disabled 1,000 centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.
The Times story included details of the Olympic Games operation, including the cooperation of Israeli intelligence.
That was a gratuitous and damaging detail– outing another nation as being part of the mission (as if Israel doesn’t have enough bad press). But the New York Times article contained even more gratuitously damaging details, like how they had even gotten the Stuxnet virus into computers which were sealed off from the internet.
Answer, thanks to the New York Times: Scientists’ cellphones were infected with Stuxnet and then used the phones’ Bluetooth connection to infect the target computers.)
That seems to me to be a very clever little exploit, but of course we can’t use it anymore, because no ultra-secure location is going to allow cellphones in from the outside any longer. Loose lips sink ships.