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Now -- the -- or with the Iran and today there's word the US has been carrying out secret cyber attacks against Iran.
And an attempted -- able its disputed nuclear program.
Officials confirming to Fox News that President Obama decided to unleash.
A highly sophisticated super virus on computer systems at the heart of Iran's nuclear facilities we are told.
It was an escalation of cyber strikes that began.
Under the Bush Administration using the code name.
Molly Henneberg is live for us in Washington Molly what do we know about this operation.
Hi Trace it targeted Iran's main nuclear plant than at times plants.
The -- net computer worm once inside and at times caused wave after wave of destruction in the spinning centrifuges there.
All while showing on the Iranian engineers monitors that everything was operating normally.
Now introducing -- -- into -- in times plant in the first place was a big hurdle for the Americans and Israelis who created it.
One architect of the secret plan told the New York Times they getting stocks net intimate times quote.
That was our holy Grail it turns out there is always an idiot around who doesn't think much about the thumb drive in their hand.
Suggesting that perhaps an unsuspecting worker there may have carried -- -- But the effect of the plan appears to be temporary may be setting back Iran's nuclear timeline by a year or two according to experts.
-- this -- this is all supposed to be secret why do we know so much about it -- That's -- current and former intelligence officials are worried about that we do know so much about it from intelligence leaks.
They're also concerned about what happens next now that Iran knows that the US was behind -- snapped.
I'm really worried about retaliation you can't forget that Iran is no slouch when it comes to cyber operations.
And we have to be very careful that Iran doesn't try to do something attack in American nuclear plant for instance.
The White House would not comment on details the story but did say that classified information is quote intended not to be publicized.
Molly Henneberg live for us in DC -- think you'll all this comes amid a tense nuclear standoff between Iran and western leaders.
Terrorism expert Steve Emerson joins us now he is executive director of the investigative project on terrorism.
Which is a nonprofit research group focusing on radical Islamic.
And extremist groups in the fascinating thing to me about this whole thing Steve is that is that this bug was actually able to go away and and kind of disable many of Iran's centrifuges those of the things -- spin uranium to make it pure and at the same time it was able to monitor the damage it was causing.
To those centrifuges.
This was -- this was the most amazing and unprecedented.
Virus ever conceived of it precisely what you said one is it it it infected the system.
And him and it actually.
Collected it actually destroyed as it.
Did the code made it actually more destructive as it spread throughout the system.
Plus it gave the ability for the Israelis and the Americans the -- -- damage.
And also to actually put remotely control.
How would spread throughout the system it was a devastating.
Virus and it still infected part of it -- -- plant which is why Iran.
Had to build redundant facilities to brought to build centrifuges that had been corrupted by the -- that.
I mean you look at all this and we have the stocks that virus and then this week that was reported the flame virus -- -- disabling some of their oil facilities in Iran.
I mean we're clearly getting better at cyber war could we go after their water and their electricity grid -- their oil and maybe disable this country without firing a shot.
Absolutely I mean that this is that you know.
This is the new war this is the you know that next century's -- you could disable their sewage system need to disable their power grid you -- disable their water system.
-- all of that would bring the country -- to it to its knees so it's not just the the and the electrical -- for that matter.
Look it's it's we have to also accept the fact.
That could happen to us which is why we're building all these defensive systems to the stop penetration of our own grades which have actually been vulnerable for the last few years.
But what we're doing right now with the Israelis and the Germans and a couple of other countries.
It's creating these incredibly new effective viruses that are basically unstoppable.
And they have a mind of their own and and they create such destructive power that they can -- -- country come to its knees or without firing a shot.
I mean really because the truth is that we got good this cyber war because we're trying to protect ourselves and -- the stuff we are defensive techniques have really been used for offensive purposes.
Well yeah exactly that there -- the reason why we developed it was because you're attempts and actually successful attempts in the last decade.
To penetrate the Pentagon the electrical grids hacking into our systems -- we realize we're we're behind the eight ball.
And the Israelis real -- were very good at -- computer viruses -- computer systems had actually developed the code together with Americans and Germans.
That was unprecedented in terms of how it.
Couldn't operate it went had a mind of its own basically and and the reality is that this is.
I've proven system.
Bet if you continue to be employed and in fact the Iranian facilities I came really it stopped their program.
Not protect not permanently but temporarily and it.
And is getting better Steve where Emerson -- terrorism expert Steve thanks very much true.
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