Security and Defence Quarterly (Jun 2020)

Operation “Olympic Games.” Cyber-sabotage as a tool of American intelligence aimed at counteracting the development of Iran’s nuclear programme

  • Mariusz Antoni Kamiński

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 29, no. 2
pp. 63 – 71


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The purpose of the article is to analyse Operation “Olympic Games” including, in particular, to indicate the political background to the activities aimed at preventing the development of Iran’s nuclear programme, and to examine the preparation and conduct of the operation, the involvement of the US and Israeli intelligence services, and the use of intelligence methods and sources. An equally important objective is to indicate the real consequences of the cyberattack with the Stuxnet virus. In the research process, a critical analysis of literature in the field of Intelligence Studies and source materials (including legal acts, strategies, reports, and other official studies of the entities forming the US Intelligence Community) was carried out. The example of Operation Olympics Games shows that complex cyber-sabotage operations resulting in the destruction of critical infrastructure on a large scale require the involvement of numerous state resources and advanced cyber activities, and the use of many different methods and intelligence sources. Thus, strong states with well-developed intelligence capabilities are much more capable of effectively using cyber-sabotage on a large scale.