Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

US will pay heavy price for leaking classified information

Detailed news reports about a joint U.S.-Israel cyber operation named Olympic Games (more commonly called Stuxnet), which launched a cyberattack initiative that damaged Iran’s nuclear enrichment program burst onto the world’s computer screen late last week. A source told me that this was a highly classified operation and they were “shocked and concerned about the release of this information.” It is important to keep in mind this is just the latest leak of sensitive, classified information of late. The “underwear bomb plot” as well as news about the doctor in Pakistan who assisted the United States in identifying and locating Osama bin Laden. All of these have taken place in 2012, and one comment I overheard was that the last time there were this many leaks Noah built himself an ark.

When you combine this public disclosure with Duqu, which was discovered in September 2011 and now Flame, which was discovered in May 2012 cyberattacks, one could not help but become concerned. Clearly fallout from the recent disclosure and the other events is expected. What form that fallout will take is anyone’s guess. Many intelligence analysts believe a retaliatory strike by Iran is all but certain. Will it be a cyberattack or a more traditional kinetic response is what is up for debate.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on June 1 was asked about Stuxnet, and he reportedly would not discuss whether the United States was responsible for the Stuxnet cyberattack. It is also reported he went on to say: “That information is classified for a reason, and it is kept secret. It is intended not to be publicized because publicizing it would pose a threat to our national security.”

He is wrong about that, it isn’t a secret anymore. He is right about that – it’s too bad that it was inappropriately leaked resulting in it being published worldwide.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jun 07, 2012 at 9:26 PM

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