Well, as many suspected, the Flame malware has been confirmed by a former high‐ranking U.S. intelligence official as being the work of the National Security Agency, the CIA ,and the Israeli Defense Force, a Washington Poststory published yesterday afternoon reports. Also as suspected, the purpose, along with that of Stuxnet, was to slow down Iran’s nuclear efforts.
The unnamed source was quoted by the Post as stating that they were only two elements of several covert actions being taken against Iran that are continuing today:
“This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action… Cyber‐collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.”
If I am interpreting this statement correctly, it means that other cyberweapons are being used against Iran that have not yet been discovered.
Let the hunt begin.
Now exactly why this former official would make his statement in light of the high profile U. S. government inquiry into leaks about classified cyberwar and other sensitive military information indicates either bravado, stupidity, a lack of fear about being discovered or being prosecuted if discovered. The latter – which could be because the former official has been legally authorized to provide the information – is getting my vote until proven otherwise.
Neither the US or Israeli governments would comment on the story. They don't really have the time to given there are so many former and current government officials who are incapable of following former U. S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gate's strategic communications advice when one is tempted to talk about classified information: "Shut the f--- up."
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.