Obama was eager to slow Iran's apparent progress toward building an atomic bomb without launching a traditional military attack, The Washington Post said quoting unnamed current and former US officials. The origins of the cyber weapon, which some analysts dubbed 'Stuxnet' after it was discovered in 2010, have long been debated. Most experts and reports have pointed fingers at US and Israel.
The Post said the officials described the classified effort they code named 'Olympic Games' and said that it was first developed during the administration of George W Bush and was geared toward damaging Iran's nuclear capability gradually while sowing confusion among Iranian scientists about the cause of mishaps.
Even after software security companies discovered Stuxnet loose on the Internet in 2010, causing concern among US officials, Obama secretly ordered the operation to be continued. Overall, the attack destroyed nearly 1,000 of Iran's 6,000 centrifuges fast-spinning machines that enrich uranium, an essential step toward building an atomic bomb, the report said. It added that the National Security Agency of the US developed the cyber weapon with the help of Israeli experts.