A retired US Marine Corps general pleads guilty to lying about leaking information on Stuxnet, a worm specifically designed to attack Iranian centrifuges used for enriching uranium in 2010.
The former Joint Chiefs vice chairman, General James Cartwright, admitted on Monday that he had leaked information about the worm, reportedly part of a US-Israeli cyber attack to dismantle Iran’s nuclear power, read reports by various news outlets.
According to a court filing, “after investigators showed Cartwright a list of quotes and statements from David Sanger’s book, a number of which contained classified information, Cartwright falsely told investigators that he was not the source of any quotes and statements.”
Cartwright, who also led the US Strategic Command and was known for his close relationship with President Barack Obama, “falsely told investigators that he never discussed Country 1 with Daniel Klaidman when in truth Cartwright had confirmed certain classified information relating to Country 1 in an email he sent to Daniel Klaidman.”
The general (pictured above), who retired in 2011 and was stripped of his security clearance in 2013, pleaded guilty before US District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington.
According to media reports, Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant was at the center of the cyber attack. The offensive failed as it was averted in time by Iranian experts.
Last year, Iran’s then-Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansaricalled the 2010 attacks “illegal,” saying Tehran has never responded with “reciprocal cyber attacks.”
Jaberi Ansari went on to say that lack of an efficient legal system in the international arena to prevent and prohibit cyber attacks is one of the serious shortcomings in countering cyber raids.