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President Obama Ordered Wave Of Cyber Attacks Against Iran, New York Times Says

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Obama's administration have not admitted carrying out the attacks
Obama's administration have not admitted carrying out the attacks

President Obama has ordered a wave of "increasingly sophisticated attacks" against Iran and its nuclear program, according to reports.

The New York Times said on Friday that Obama accelerated the attacks against Iran's nuclear facilities, adding that the program was code-named 'Olympic Games'.

The Times said that even after the Stuxnet worm - a computer virus targeting Iran's Natanz nuclear research plant - went public after a programming error Obama continued to ramp up the attacks.

According to the report the final variation of the Stuxnet attack took out 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges used in Iran to purify uranium.

The Times spent 18 months interviewing American, European and Israeli officials about the program, who gave different accounts of how successful it had been.

The US government has never admitted using so-called cyberweapons, but the Times piece suggests officials are now able to "cripple" infrastructure in a way previously only bombs and troops could achieve.

On Monday the Huffington Post UK interviewed a security expert from Symantec, who helped to uncover what they called an online 'super weapon' named Flame which is capable of downloading virtually any information from an infected computer.

Orla Cox, senior manager at Symantec Security Response, told the Huffington Post that the level of professionalism involved in the attack was unprecedented.

"I think it would hard to say that anyone other than a nation state would be behind it," Cox said. "You're looking at a well organised well funded group."

Israel has denied any link to Flame, and it is not known who is responsible.

"What the threat allows a potential attacker to do is basically take any information it wants from a compromised machine," Cox said.

"Usually they're quite small, quite basic and looking for a particular type of information. In this case you're looking at something that can basically take everything at once."

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