Feeds

Retired 4-star general probed over Stuxnet details leak - report

Marine Corps man under investigation over malware revelations

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A retired general has been named as the target of a US Department of Justice probe into the release of confidential information about the Stuxnet virus.

An NBC report claimed that James Cartwright, a retired US Marine Corps four star general, was under investigation for allegedly leaking details of the virus.

Unnamed legal sources told NBC that Cartwright, a former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had been sent a letter informing him that he under investigation.

The 63-year-old general is the latest public figure to be caught up in the Obama regime's investigation into the leaks, which has already prosecuted or charged eight people under the Espionage Act.

Stuxnet was specifically designed to target the uranium-enriching centrifuges that are crucial to Iran's nuclear capabilities. In 2010, the virus caused 1,000 of the devices to spin out of control, temporarily disabling them. However, the worm did not entirely halt the Iranian nuclear programme, which has been widely interpreted as a scheme to produce atomic weapons.

It is thought that Israeli spooks worked with their American colleagues to produce the malware, which was seen as a safer alternative to bombing the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

Neither the Justice Department or the US attorney's office in Baltimore have commented on the alleged investigation.

According to the New York Times' definitive report into the Stuxnet virus, President Obama made a clear decision to ramp up cyberattacks, building upon a programme called "Olympic Games" that began under George W Bush. It is understood that Cartwright was one of the top military personnel involved in this cyberwar effort.

Obama was reportedly furious at David Sanger's report in the NYT, promising to root out the people who leaked information. Initially, the focus was on White House sources, but investigators are thought to have turned their attention to high-ranking military figures late last year.

The Stuxnet virus was only identified after escaping from Iranian systems into the wild. Cartwright is said to be the man who told Obama that this sophisticated cyber-weapon had been let loose into the wilds of the internet, although there are still big questions about how it actually got there.

The effectiveness of Stuxnet has been questioned, with some US officials claiming that it actually helped Iran's nuclear effort and encouraged the country to launch its own cyber-jihad. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.