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Stuxnet - US/Israeli Cyber Attack Against Iran

 
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Disco_Destroyer
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Stuxnet - US/Israeli Cyber Attack Against Iran Reply with quote

This came by way of AVG Facebook page Wink
Could be propaganda to get us ready though Sad

Quote:
AVG Anti-Virus This worm is really turning out to be a big deal. It is pretty sophisticated and it seems to be designed to target specific infrastructure. Is this the first of many cyber-attacks?


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1314580/Stuxnet-worm-ta rgeted-Iranian-nuclear-power-station-sophisticated-virus-attack-ever.h tml?ITO=1490

Computer super-virus 'targeted Iranian nuclear power station' but who made it?
By NIALL FIRTH
Last updated at 2:14 AM on 24th September 2010



The world’s first cyber ‘super weapon’ may have been designed to attack a nuclear power station in Iran, experts believe.
A computer virus called Stuxnet has been described as the most sophisticated 'worm' ever created and has already infected more than 45,000 networks worldwide.
A 'worm' is a type of computer virus that can reproduce by sending copies of itself to any PC that is connected to the infected machine.
Now internet security experts fear that Stuxnet, which was first detected in June, is the first 'worm' specifically created to target real-world infrastructure such as power stations and water plants.

The Bushehr nuclear plant may have been the target for the cyber attack, experts believe
And they say that it is so sophisticated that only a country with a high level of computer programming know-how would have been able to create it.
Many believe that it was designed to attack important industrial facilities in Iran including the Bushehr nuclear power plant which was originally due to open last month.
After it has hijacked a PC, Stuxnet looks for Siemens software that runs industrial control systems in facilities like factories and power plants.

More...
Revealed: The 'hacker' who discovered the worm that took down Twitter... a 17-year-old Australian schoolboy

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1314382/Twitter-mouseov er-worm-hacker-Pearce-Delphin-Australian-schoolboy.html

It then launches an attack by reprogramming software to give any industrial machinery new, potentially dangerous, instructions.
It is capable of taking control of key processes and is able to set off a sequence that could cause the entire system to self-destruct, say experts.
David Emm, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky, said what made Stuxnet different from other viruses was its targeted nature.
His firm has worked with Microsoft to find holes in their code which could be exploited by the worm.
Mr Emm said: What sets it apart is that it is not indiscriminate. Most viruses that are created are normally blasted out like a blunderbuss. But Stuxnet is written to only target a certain systems.
'It finds flaws in code and uses it like an open window in a house, like a jemmy to make a bigger gap', he said.
He said that Stuxnet appeared to have been designed purely for sabotage.
Ralph Langner, a German cyber-security researcher, has reverse-engineered the Stuxnet code and made his findings public. He said he is convinced the virus was designed to seek out and destroy key pieces of infrastructure.
He said: ‘Stuxnet is a 100-percent-directed cyber attack aimed at destroying an industrial process in the physical world. This is not about espionage, as some have said. This is a 100 percent sabotage attack.’
Iran was hardest hit by Stuxnet with nearly 60 per cent of all infected PCs found there.
Mr Langer believes that the Bushehr nuclear plant was the intended target for the attack.
Bushehr is currently being loaded with nuclear fuel but was not switched on in August as had been planned.
Mr Langer says that the sophistication of the virus means that only a ‘nation state’ could have developed it.
He wrote: 'With the forensics we now have it is evident and provable that Stuxnet is a directed sabotage attack involving heavy insider knowledge.
'This is not some hacker sitting in the basement of his parents' house. To me, it seems that the resources needed to stage this attack point to a nation state.'
Mr Langer also believes that Stuxnet virus has already hit its target - we just haven't heard about it yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
AVG Anti-Virus Thumb drives were actually the way that the last virus got into the Pentagon - http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/11/army-bans-usb-d/

They can scan, but if it is a new and specialized virus, most virus scanners won't know the signature. They will have to rely on behavioral analysis to detect it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why was this moved :0
anyway this adds weight to the propaganda analogy as it seems to have done the same to Facebook

Quote:
More Details on Today's Outage
by Robert Johnson on Friday, 24 September 2010 at 01:29
Early today Facebook was down or unreachable for many of you for approximately 2.5 hours. This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it. We also wanted to provide much more technical detail on what happened and share one big lesson learned.

The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition. An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.

The intent of the automated system is to check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values from the persistent store. This works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid.

Today we made a change to the persistent copy of a configuration value that was interpreted as invalid. This meant that every single client saw the invalid value and attempted to fix it. Because the fix involves making a query to a cluster of databases, that cluster was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of queries a second.

To make matters worse, every time a client got an error attempting to query one of the databases it interpreted it as an invalid value, and deleted the corresponding cache key. This meant that even after the original problem had been fixed, the stream of queries continued. As long as the databases failed to service some of the requests, they were causing even more requests to themselves. We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover.

The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful - we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site. Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site.

This got the site back up and running today, and for now we’ve turned off the system that attempts to correct configuration values. We’re exploring new designs for this configuration system following design patterns of other systems at Facebook that deal more gracefully with feedback loops and transient spikes.

We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rightly maybe should just go with the UN thread?
Seems timed to coincide with Ahmedinejad's UN speech.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyGosling wrote:
Rightly maybe should just go with the UN thread?
Seems timed to coincide with Ahmedinejad's UN speech.


Yea seems weird, I couldn't remember where I put it, just confused me when I wanted to add something.

Seen nothing from PressTV or RT yet so I'd say BS though really.
Especially when you've got US MSM say its Israel :0

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/144245.html

Iran's nuclear chief cautions the head of UN nuclear agency that he should not allow himself to be used as a political instrument for starting a war against Tehran.


Yukiya Amano's biased approach has raised the question in Tehran about whether he is "interested in providing a pretext for an attack against us," Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said.

"Is Amano interested in associating his own name with war? Does he want to see the world beset by catastrophe?" Salehi queried in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel which was published on Monday.

"It is merely a friendly, but serious, warning that one should not allow oneself to be politically instrumentalized."

Salehi said Amano had failed to ascend to the post of IAEA chairman a number of times, because "many countries were concerned that he would yield to external pressure."

"Mr. Amano must be careful not to lose his legitimacy due to his partisanship for certain policies."

Salehi stressed that while Iran is "trying to accommodate the IAEA beyond what is required by our written obligations," Amano's apparent bias had caused opposition to a "flexible cooperation" with the agency to increase in Tehran.

"We will not accept the new tone," Salehi concluded.

Amano claimed in his February 18 report on Iran, which was released amid a US campaign to win international support for adopting sanctions against Tehran, that the IAEA had "concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities" that could enable the Iranian military to develop a nuclear bomb.

His report came while the agency had in its previous reports confirmed the non-diversion of Iran's nuclear program.

Earlier in September, Amano released his latest report in which although the "non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran" was once again confirmed, Tehran was urged to "cooperate in clarifying outstanding issues,” and also to “act strictly in accordance with the provisions of, and to ratify promptly, the Additional Protocol.”

He also claimed Iran's decision to bar the agency's two inspectors would "hamper the inspection process."

Iran barred two IAEA inspectors from entering the country in June on grounds that they had leaked information to the media before the official issuance of the agency's report on Iran's nuclear program.

MYA/HGH/MMN

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Israeli cyber attacks target Press TV
Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:36PM
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/171502.html
Over the past 10 days, Press TV news website has been hit by Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack (DDOS) from Israeli sources.
The attacks, however, have failed to bring the site down, reportedly due to formidable security systems integrated into the website.
DDOS attack is an attempt to keep an internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, thus making it unavailable to its intended users.
Another popular Iran-based Arabic-language news website Al-Alam has also been the target of numerous cyber attacks from sources in Israel and a few US-backed Arab countries.
Press TV and Al-Alam news websites are among the most active and prominent independent sources for coverage of developments on the recent uprisings in Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The Iran-based websites also provide extensive coverage of events in occupied Palestinian territories.
Documents released in 2010 by Wikileaks whistleblower website revealed that Britain had concentrated its efforts on halting Press TV Ltd from producing programs critical of Western Imperialism.
In an article entitled The Secretive Campaign to Halt Press TV in the UK, British journalist and broadcaster Lauren Booth outlined UK's efforts to support the US in shutting down the company that markets documentaries and series to the Iranian channel with an identical name.

Having failed to find any legitimate problem with the quality or content of the programs produced by Press TV, the UK's National Westminster (NatWest) Bank froze Press TV Ltd's business account without any prior notice last month and stated that the accounts would be permanently closed in February 2011.
Press TV has also been put off the air in several Western-backed regional states for covering the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North of Africa.
Earlier in March, Bahrain interrupted the broadcast of Iran's Arabic-language entertainment channel iFilm, following its violent crackdown on anti-government protests in the country.
Press TV has gained popularity for its fair and in-depth coverage of the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in Bahrain.
Freelance journalist Johnny Miller, who covered the uprising in Bahrain for Press TV, was detained, harassed and eventually deported from the country earlier this month for no specific reason. His equipment was also confiscated by the Bahraini authorities.


http://bcfm.org.uk/wp-content/Podcasts/20110909180001.mp3

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US governor Tim Pawlenty priases the "good work" carried out by the US and Israel in assasinating Iranian nuclear sceintists and unleashing the Stuxnet worm

http://thetimesofpakistan.com/2011/10/13/us-playing-the-saudi-envoy-ga me/

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stuxnet x20: Massive cyber spy virus 'Flame' hits Iran, Israel
http://www.rt.com/news/flame-iran-virus-kaspersky-442/
Published: 29 May, 2012, 04:28
Edited: 29 May, 2012, 13:35
Video
Reuters/Stephanie McGehee

(15.0Mb)embed video
TAGS: Conflict, Scandal, SciTech, Middle East, Politics, Internet, Iran, Tom Barton, Social networks, Security
A powerful data-snatching virus targeting computers in Iran, Israel and other Middle Eastern countries has been discovered by Russian experts. The worm has been used for years for what seems to be state-sponsored cyber espionage.
Russian cyber-security company Kaspersky Lab says the malware, codenamed Flame, is the largest and one of the most complex cyber-attacks ever discovered. It reports that the most severely affected computers are in Iran – but Israel, Syria and other countries across the Middle East have also been infected.
Kaspersky's first recorded instance of Flame dates back to August 2010, although the firm admits the worm could have been stealing data for years before that. The virus may also have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet virus that affected the Iranian nuclear program in 2010.
The Moscow-based company said on Monday that its researchers had yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission, like Stuxnet or Duqu – another massive cyber-attack that had sought to infiltrate networks and steal data.
Flame’s code appears to be twenty times the size of Stuxnet’s. The malware is able to gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on PC microphones or webcams in order to record conversations and video, take screen shots – and eventually send the data back to the attackers.
"Once a system is infected, Flame begins a complex set of operations, including sniffing the network traffic, taking screenshots, recording audio conversations, intercepting the keyboard, and so on," Kaspersky's chief malware expert Vitaly Kamlyuk told BBC.
The complexity of the virus and the targets that have been hit led Kaspersky Lab to believe that this a government is behind the cyber attacks. At the same time, the experts are not sure of its exact origins and have yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission, like Stuxnet, whose attack Iran blamed on the United States and Israel.
US: 'No comment’
Many experts believe Iran’s suspicions toward the US and Israel are not without merit. In January 2011, The New York Times came out with a report stating that both attacks originated from a joint program in 2004 aimed at undermining Iran's alleged efforts to build a nuclear bomb. The article said the program was authorized by US President George W. Bush, and later accelerated by his successor, Barack Obama.
A spokesman for the US Department of Defense, David Oten, declined to comment on Flame on Monday, Reuters reports. The CIA, State Department, National Security Agency, and US Cyber Command declined to comment as well.
Kaspersky Lab said it discovered Flame after a UN telecommunications body asked it to analyze data on malicious software across the Middle East in search of the data-wiping virus reported by Iran.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Israel hints it may be behind 'Flame' super-virus targeting Iran
'Flame' cyber attacks that can steal vast amounts of sensitive data come as Tehran nuclear talks falter
Donald Macintyre , Jerome Taylor Wednesday 30 May 2012
A top Israeli minister yesterday fed speculation that the Jewish state could be responsible for a powerful new virus said to have been used in a fresh attack on computers in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The discovery of the unprecedented complex data-stealing "Flame" virus was disclosed by a Russian-based digital security firm Kaspersky Lab. Its experts reported on Monday that it had been applied most actively in Iran, but also in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Moshe Yaalon, Israel's Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister, told the country's Army Radio: "Anyone who sees the Iranian threat as a significant threat – it's reasonable [to assume] that he will take various steps, including these, to harm it."
Mr Yaalon, a former military Chief of Staff, added: "Israel was blessed as being a country rich with high-tech. These tools that we take pride in open up all kinds of opportunities for us."
He stopped short of directly claiming responsibility, but Israel has long been in the forefront of opposition to Iran's nuclear programme, currently the subject of difficult negotiations between Tehran and six world powers.
Although many viruses can already steal large amounts of data, few have been as comprehensive as Flame, or steal in so many different ways. The security industry is still in the early stages of examining what exactly Flame can do, but examples already given include hijacking a computer's microphone to record conversations, taking screen shots during chats through instant messenger and even stealing data from devices that are attached to an infected computer through a Bluetooth connection.
The Flame virus is believed to the third and, at least in information gathering, most effective cyber attack on Iranian computer systems in recent years. Tehran admitted the best known of these, Stuxnet, had damaged centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz in 2010.
The internet security industry has been both shocked and impressed by Flame's complexity and how dedicated it is to stealing as much intelligence data from a computer network as possible. Rik Ferguson, director of security research at Trend Micro, told The Independent: "It's a very comprehensive and bespoke piece of malware. It's further evidence that certain states or organisations are using malware to deliver very effective targeted attacks that can only be developed with significant planning and resources."
There are disagreements over how long it has been in existence. Kaspersky say the attacks began around 2010, but analysts at Budapest University's renowned Cryptography and System Security, which has also been analysing the virus since March, say evidence suggests Flame may have been infiltrating computer systems for five years.
Iran has largely played down its vulnerability to cyber attack, which it regards as part of a continued campaign by Israel and the US against its nuclear programme. It also blames those states for targeted assassinations of nuclear scientists. Officials at Iran's communications and technology ministry said yesterday they had produced an antivirus capable of identifying and removing the new malware, although many security analysts question such claims.
Mr Yaalon also yesterday voiced Israeli government scepticism about the ongoing negotiations with Tehran, saying last week's inconclusive talks in Baghdad "yielded no significant achievement" except to let Iran buy time. Talks will resume in Moscow next month.
The talks have so far faltered on Iran's resistance to demands for an end to higher grade 20 per cent uranium enrichment unless the West first eases sanctions which are due to be tightened significantly at the end of June.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-hints-it-ma y-be-behind-flame-supervirus-targeting-iran-7800935.html

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
US cyberwar virus aimed at Iran, infects Chevron accidentally

November 9, 2012
http://rt.com/usa/news/stuxnet-chevron-cyber-virus-348/
America’s cyberwar is already seeing collateral damage, and it’s hitting the country’s own billion-dollar companies. Oil giants Chevron say the Stuxnet computer virus made by the US to target Iran infected their systems as well.

California-based Chevron, a Fortune 500 company that’s among the biggest corporations in the world, admits this week that they discovered the Stuxnet worm on their systems back in 2010. Up until now, Chevron managed to make their finding a well-kept secret, and their disclosure published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday marks the first time a US company has come clean about being infected by the virus intended for Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. Mark Koelmel of the company’s earth sciences department says that they are likely to not be the last, though.

“We’re finding it in our systems and so are other companies,” says Koelmel. “So now we have to deal with this.”

Koelmel claims that the virus did not have any adverse effects on his company, which generated a quarter of a trillion dollars in revenue during 2011. As soon as Chevron identified the infection, it was taken care of immediately, he says. Other accidental targets might not be so lucky though, and the computer worm’s complex coding means it might be a while before anyone else becomes aware of the damage.

“I don’t think the US government even realized how far it had spread,” Koelmel adds.

Discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet worm was reported with all but certainty to be the creation of the United States, perhaps with the assistance of Israel, to set back Iran’s nuclear enrichment program as a preemptive measure against an eventual war. Only as recently as this June, however, American officials with direct knowledge of the worm went public with Uncle Sam’s involvement.

In a June 2012 article published by The New York Times, government agents with direct knowledge of Stuxnet claimed that first President George W. Bush, then Barack Obama, oversaw the deployment of the worm as part of a well-crafted cyberassault on Iran. Coupled with another malicious program named Flame and perhaps many more, Stuxnet was waged against Iran as part of an initiative given the codename “Olympic Games.” Rather than solely stealing intelligence through use of computer coding, the endeavor was believed to be the first cyberattack that intended to cause actual hard damage.

“Previous cyberattacks had effects limited to other computers,” Michael Hayden, the former chief of the CIA, explained to the Times earlier this year. “This is the first attack of a major nature in which a cyberattack was used to effect physical destruction.”

On the record, the federal government maintains ignorance on the subject of Stuxnet. With American companies perhaps soon coming out of the woodwork to discuss how they were hit, though, the White House may have to finally admit that they’ve had direct involvement.

After the Times published their expose in June, Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of Intelligence Committee, called for an investigation to track down how the media was first made aware of America’s involvement in Olympic Games.

"I am deeply disturbed by the continuing leaks of classified information to the media, most recently regarding alleged cyber efforts targeting Iran's nuclear program,” Feinstein said through a statement at the time. “I made it clear that disclosures of this type endanger American lives and undermine America's national security."

When Feinstein spoke to DC’s The Hill newspaper, she said, "the leak about the attack on Iran's nuclear program could 'to some extent' provide justification for copycat attacks against the United States." According to the chairwoman, "This is like an avalanche. It is very detrimental and, candidly, I found it very concerning. There's no question that this kind of thing hurts our country."

Just last month, a shadowy Iranian-based hacking group called The Qassam Cyber Fighters took credit for launching a cyberattack on the servers of Capital One Financial Corp. and BB&T Corp., two of the biggest names in the American banking industry. Days earlier, Google informed some of its American users that they may be targeted in a state-sponsored cyberattack from abroad, and computer experts insist that these assaults will only intensify over time.

“We absolutely have seen more activity from the Middle East, and in particular Iran has been increasingly active as they build up their cyber capabilities,” CrowdStrike Security President George Kurtz told the Times.

Speaking of the accidental impact Stuxnet could soon have in the US, Chevron’s Koelmel tells the Journal, "I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retired US general 'may have leaked Stuxnet cyberattack details'
A senior US general is believed to be under investigation for allegedly leaking details of a secret cyberattack on Iran.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10147737/Re tired-US-general-may-have-leaked-Stuxnet-cyberattack-details.html
By Jon Swaine, New York - 2:18PM BST 28 Jun 2013

James Cartwright, who was the US military's second-highest-ranking officer before retiring in 2011, is said to be the target of an inquiry by the US justice department into how the media obtained information on the Stuxnet strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

The computer virus, which is believed to have been unleashed by US and Israeli engineers in 2010, temporarily disabled 1,000 centrifuges within Iran’s nuclear programme.

The New York Times last year published a detailed account, sourced to anonymous officials, of how the virus was developed.

It was reported to have been part of a wider cyber-attack codenamed Olympic Games, which began under former president George W Bush and was extended under President Barack Obama.

Gen. Cartwright, 63, was credited in the front-page article with overseeing the operation. He has now received a letter from justice department officials informing him that he is the subject of the leak inquiry, according to NBC News.

The 63-year-old is the highest-profile official so far to be targeted by an aggressive crackdown on leakers by Mr Obama’s administration, which has prosecuted more people under the espionage act than all past administrations combined.

Inquiries into two other leaks have seen phone records seized for reporters from the Associated Press and emails obtained from a journalist for Fox News, prompting fierce criticism of the administration from American media organisations.

The disclosures in The New York Times’s article were excerpted from a book by David Sanger, one of its correspondents, titled Confront and Conceal.

The book also contained several other inside accounts of the administration’s national security operations.

Sanger wrote that his reports were “based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the programme”, adding: “None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified”.

Its leak prompted furious accusations from Republicans that Mr Obama’s aides had deliberately released information to the media in order to bolster his credentials as commander-in-chief and improve his chances of securing re-election in last November’s presidential poll.

Gen Cartwright, a 40-year veteran of the Marines, served as deputy chairman of the joint chiefs of staff between 2007 and 2011.

He was at one stage one of Mr Obama’s most trusted advisers and was once viewed as the likely front-runner for promotion to chairman of the joint chiefs of staff - America’s most senior officer.

However he is said to have fallen foul of colleagues by discreetly siding with Joe Biden, the Vice-President, during Mr Obama’s 2010 review of the war in Afghanistan. While other top generals, such as David Petraeus, then commander of US forces in the conflict, wanted a boost in US troop numbers, Mr Biden urged the president to hasten America’s withdrawal.

The chairmanship eventually went to Gen Martin Dempsey, the former chief of staff of the Army. Gen Cartwright now serves as a chair in defence policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think-tank.

If indicted and convicted under the espionage act, Gen Cartwright could face a lengthy prison sentence. Gen Cartwright could not be reached for comment. His attorney told NBC News: “I have no comment”.

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