Iran's US Navy Hack Lasted 4 Months
Head responder poised for scrutiny as NSA nominee
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 18, 2014 11:48 AM CST
This Oct. 5, 2011, photo, provided by the US Navy, shows Vice Adm. Michael Rogers.   (AP Photo.U.S. Navy)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A cyberattack last year saw Iran infiltrate the US Navy's unclassified intranet—and it took US officials some four months to "eliminate the bad guys from our networks," a top US official tells the Wall Street Journal. The hack, initially reported last year, was far larger than was clear at the time, the Journal notes. "It was a real big deal," the official says. "The thing got into the bloodstream, and it wasn't just in the main arteries, it was in all the little capillaries." But the response, he notes, was ultimately a "success."

That response was led by Adm. Michael Rogers, President Obama's nominee to be the next head of the embattled NSA, and he'll likely face questions over the attack as he seeks confirmation. Rogers has his defenders, though: "It was a big problem, but it was a success," says a senior Pentagon official. "Mike Rogers did a very, very good job handling this." The attack, which lasted until November, hit the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, which handles nonsensitive information; classified networks don't appear to have been hacked, officials say. Immediate repairs cost some $10 million, and that figure is poised to increase as authorities look to patch holes revealed by the attack. "It was a real eye-opener in terms of the capabilities of Iran to get into a Defense Department system and stay in there for months," an ex-official says.