US in ‘Long Cyberwar’ With Iran

Flame Virus Just Part of a Much Bigger Picture

With the US becoming more and more open about its role in cyber-attacks like the Stuxnet worm, which targeted Iranian nuclear centrifuges, experts say that the ongoing “cyberwar” between the US and Iran, which has apparently been ongoing for quite some time, is poised to be a long one.

The most recent front on this war is the Flame Virus, though so far the US hasn’t formally admitted to being responsible for the attack. This virus intends at mass surveillance, capturing keystrokes, screenshots, and even turning on microphones on infected computers to record conversations.

The Flame Virus doesn’t seem to do anything directly malicious, unlikely Stuxnet, which after it escaped the Iranian centrifuges began wreaking havoc on industrial computers the world over. Officials are saying that these sorts of clandestine attacks are their new preferred method of operation insisting that such attacks are “not really warfare.”

This of course is the exact opposite of what the Pentagon has publicly said all along about possible cyber-attacks against the US, saying they would treat any such move as an act of war and might respond militarily.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.