The United States government is developing a computer system that would allow it to conduct cyber warfare without the intervention of a human programmer.
Recently, stories have leaked detailing the U.S. government’s creation and implementation of two cyber attacks on the information systems of other nations.
"Flame" was the name of a computer virus reportedly developed and launched by the United States in order to glean critical data from computers in several Middle Eastern countries.
According to a story published in the Washington Post, the United States and Israel launched a joint venture to develop the Flame virus. Once launched into cyber space, the code reportedly collected online intelligence data that was then used to create a similar bit of malware that would cripple Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Officials cited in the Post article revealed that the effort was a collaboration of the National Security Agency (NSA), the CIA, and the Israeli military.
One product of that Israeli-American secret enterprise was the Stuxnet virus. Stuxnet was the virus allegedly deployed by the United States to decelerate Iran’s progress toward the development of a nuclear weapon.
Apparently, Flame and Stuxnet were just the beginning of a more sophisticated and sustained American cyber assault against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure. As one source quoted by the Washington Post reports: “This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today. “Cyber-collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.”
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