Former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Ret. General Michael Hayden called the sabotaging of Iran’s nuclear program with Stuxnet a “good idea” during an interview with ‘60 Minutes.’
Hayden served as NSA director from 1999 to 2005, and was also director of the CIA from 2006-2009. During the interview, set to air tonight, Hayden told the news show he doesn’t know who is behind the malware attack, but noted that the world has “entered into a new phase of conflict in which we use a cyber weapon to create physical destruction.”
“This was a good idea, alright? But I also admit this was a big idea, too,” Hayden told show correspondent Steve Kroft. “The rest of the world is looking at this and saying ‘Clearly, someone has legitimated this kind of activity as acceptable.'”
First discovered in 2010, Stuxnet’s payload is designed to target Siemens’ supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software. It is widely believed the goal of the malware was to disrupt Iran’s uranium enrichment program. While its author remains unknown, much of the speculation has centered on the United States and Israel.
The story is slated to air tonight at 7 p.m. on CBS.