U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has issued an assignment to the U.S. District Attorneys to start an investigation into possible leaks of classified information, presumably by individuals within the Obama administration who recently spoke anonymously about the administration’s ties to the development of Stuxnet.
Holder’s statement doesn’t mention anyone or thing by name, but it is widely understood that he is referring to a recent New York Times article, which cites unnamed members of the president’s national security team and claims that the Obama administration ordered a wave of cyber attacks against Iran.
Holder is assigning Ronald C. Machen Jr, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, to investigate to possible disclosures of unauthorized information.
The alleged leaks were perceived, almost immediately, as election-year politicking by a number of prominent Republican lawmakers, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who pushed for a special counsel to look into the leaks, according to various reports.
“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated,” Holder said. “The Justice Department takes seriously cases in which government employees and contractors entrusted with classified information are suspected of willfully disclosing such classified information to those not entitled to it, and we will do so in these cases as well.”
Specifically, the New York Times report names Stuxnet as part of this wave of cyberattacks against Iran. Kaspersky Lab recently announced that the Flame malware is unequivocally linked to Stuxnet, so there may be even more to the story. There is, of course, the Duqu malware as well, which is also widely believed to be related to Stuxnet.