Last week, The New York Times reported that Stuxnet, the computer worm that infected computers around the world in 2010, was developed by the United States in conjunction with Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear centrifuges.
"It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country's infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives," wrote David Sanger, the paper's chief Washington correspondent.
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New information about computer viruses shows how countries may be lining up to fight a cyberwar. The New York Times reported that former President George W. Bush and President Obama both authorized computer attacks against Iran, culminating in the Stuxnet virus, which targeted Iranian nuclear facilities.
Meanwhile, a United Nations agency raised alarms about another virus, dubbed "Flame," which may also have been designed for use against Iran.
Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, shown in this International Iran Photo Agency image from August 2010, was infected by the Stuxnet computer worm — which reportedly was created in the United States.
Credit Ebrahim Norouzi / AP
The CIA has a term called "blowback" to describe when an operation against the enemy has unintended negative consequences for the U.S. or its allies. In the age of cyberwarfare, blowback seems to be a paramount concern.