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US General Admits Guilt in Stuxnet Info Leak

Former vice chair of Joint Chiefs James Cartwright, 67, pleaded guilty this week to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

After a 2012 leak to reporters of the use of a computer virus called Stuxnet that disabled equipment the Iranians were using to enrich uranium, the Justice Department launched an investigation to find the leaker. 

Cartwright falsely told investigators that he did not provide or confirm classified information contained in a news article and, later, in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger and also misled prosecutors about classified information shared with another journalist, Daniel Klaidman.

But at the hearing this week, Cartwright admitted his guilt. “It was wrong for me to mislead the FBI on Nov. 2, 2012, and I accept full responsibility for this,” he said.

Iran has publicly blamed the United States and Israel for the computer virus, but neither country has officially acknowledged a role in the attack.

Cartwright’s offense carries a maximum of five years in prison, but under a plea agreement, the government is recommending a sentence in the range of zero to six months.

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