NSA Helped Create Stuxnet Cyber-Weapon, Snowden Claims
The U.S. agency collaborated with Israel on the digital attack that disabled Iranian centrifuges, the former intelligence contractor told Der Spiegel.The National Security Agency collaborated with the Israeli government to create the program used in a cyber-attack that disrupted Iran's uranium processing capability and delayed its nuclear ambitions, former intelligence consultant and whistleblower Edward Snowden said in an interview published in the German magazine Der Spiegel. Allegedly conducted prior to Snowden's release of classified intelligence documents, the interview describes the broad surveillance conducted by the NSA and other nations' intelligence agencies. In addition to other assertions, Snowden confirmed that the NSA shares surveillance and cooperates with other nations, including Israel. "Yes, [they cooperate] all the time. The NSA has a massive body responsible for this: FAD, the Foreign Affairs Directorate," Snowden said in the interview. When asked if the NSA helped create Stuxnet, he added: "[The] NSA and Israel co-wrote it." The interview was originally conducted by independent security researcher Jacob Appelbaum as a way to verify the bona fides of an up-to-that-point unknown NSA analyst. The edited text of the translated interview was published by Cryptome.org, a site that archives documents related to computer security and digital rights.
The assertion that Stuxnet is the work of the United States and Israel is not a new one. Many in the security community had suspected as much, when an anonymous Obama administration official confirmed that the countries had worked together to create the attack, New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent David Sanger wrote in his book Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret War and Surprising Use of American Power, published in June 2012.