Shortly after the New York Times published the article in which it named the US and Israel as being the ones responsible for the Stuxnet malware attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities, an investigation was launched to find out who was the one who leaked the information to the press.
People familiar with the investigation have told The Washington Post that a number of current and former senior government officials have been interviewed. Some of them have been confronted with evidence of communication with journalists.
Email accounts and phone records have been analyzed in an effort to find evidence of contact between officials and the press.
The Obama administration has already prosecuted 6 officials who leaked sensitive information to the public and now it is determined to single out those who told the world about the Olympic Games operation and Stuxnet.
It’s believed that only a small number of US and Israeli officials knew about Stuxnet.
Figures from a 2010 letter sent by the Justice Department to a Senate committee showed that intelligence agencies had notified the DOJ regarding 183 information leaks. 14 suspects were identified as a result of 26 investigations.
The latest investigations into classified data leaks have made officials become more reluctant when it comes to talking to the press.
Technological advancements and the fact that they can access government email accounts and work-issued mobile devices without a warrant helps the FBI in identifying the culprits.
Former prosecutors have told The Washington Post that a typical investigation begins with the compiling of a list of individuals with access to the leaked information. The FBI can trace all their activities because officials have to sign logs every time they attend a briefing or examine secret documents.