NYT Breaks News on Planned Iran Cyber Attack… To What End?

While my other articles can certainly be viewed as opinion pieces, depending on the reader, this editorial is in direct response to the New York Times article about an apparent planned cyber-attack against Iran if last year’s nuclear discussions did not end favorably. The source for the story is a documentary that has not yet been released. In other words, this information was just about to get out anyway, but NYT wanted a part of the action in order to sell papers and gain online advertisement profits. The only parties that could actually confirm the story, White House staffers, Pentagon officials, and the Office of the Director of National Security, declined to comment. Then again, why would they?

What benefit do the American tax players gain with this information? If nothing actually happened aside from a contingency plan, why does it matter? Don’t we expect our elected officials to have such plans with the best interest of the American citizens at heart? If they didn’t and the nuclear talks went south, would Sanger and Mazzetti instead be writing a piece on administrative incompetence?

I might be just letting my own personal experience and political bias influence my opinion on this one, but I fail to see what value was added by globally publicizing a new military strategy and apparent future offensive capability for the sake of being the first to break the news (a single day before the work of the real investigators release their findings). I would love to see the impact this has on foreign relations, since it will go much further and deeper than the recent agreements between the United States and Iran.

But hey, you heard it there first.

Steve P. Higdon has been working in the information security field for over ten years, providing support and consultancy to several public and private sector organizations. Steve holds several industry certifications and can be reached via email at infosec@stephenhigdon.com and on Twitter at @SteveHigdon.

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