Tag Archives: Cyberwarfare

USA Ready to Launch Cyber Attack, NSA Chief Says

It should not come as a surprise to anyone, but never before has an American  official acknowledged that the US government is working on or is in possession of malware capable of attacking a foreign nation in a cyber conflict, despite the fact that at least one attack – the famous Stuxnext worm – has been attributed to the USA.

“I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team.”

Keith Alexander

keithalexandeer

For the first time, NSA chief and head of the US Cyber Command Gen. Keith Alexander admitted America is ready to attack in cyberspace, website Mashable.com reports. On Wednesday, in his annual testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, Alexander took the cyber war rhetoric coming out of Washington up a notch: “I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team,” he said. “This is an offensive team.

In other words, this cyber army is ready to retaliate in case of a cyber attack against the United States.

As part of the expansion of the cyber security force, Alexander also said that he is adding 40 teams, 13 focused on offensive operations and 27 for surveillance and training. Thanks to the expansion, the cyber command will grow from 900 to a corps of more than 4.000 employees.

As previously reported, the new command will have three arms: two defensive ones that will secure critical infrastructure and the Pentagon‘s own system, and an offensive one. This expansion, Alexander explained, is justified by the imminent threat of a cyber attack on US critical infrastructure, like its power grid or the financial system.

According to Alexander, this kind of attack poses a major threat, even bigger than a terrorist attack.

Well, that’s what experts have been saying for years….

The most important question now is not if the US will respond to the continuously ongoing cyber attacks against corporations and government institutions all over the world, but when, and how

FULL POST@Mashable.com

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Kaspersky: “Humanity Not Ready To Deal With The Dangers of Cyber Weapons”

During a debate at the DLD 2013 conference last week, the two internet gurus, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Labs)  and Mikko Hypponen (F-Secure) made some rather disturbing comments on the development of cyber weapons.   Kaspersky has said that the new cyber weapons may be “cleaner” than traditional weapons but they are “much worse”. Hypponen added that what set cyber-weapons apart from traditional weapons was the fact that anyone could get their hands on one of these weapons, unlike a nuclear bomb, missiles or tanks which only armies would have access to. Both experts believe the situation is critical.

“We are not ready to limit their functionality, we cannot consume less IT, like oxygen or water.”

Eugene Kaspersky

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kaspersky

At the DLD 2013 conference, Kaspersky warned that humanity is not ready to deal with the dangers of cyber weapons and is still very vulnerable. He believes that it’s just a matter of time before a serious incident happens. And, what may be even worse, anyone can get their hands on them. Kaspersky also put forward the idea limited access to certain technologies, because we simply cannot control them, He and the situation to the tragic stories of the Zeppelin and the Concorde, two technologies which were discontinued because of inherent dangers in their original constructions.

 

images (1)According to Mikko Hypponen are we at the moment in the “first stages of a cyber-arms race,” and we are beginning to see many other countries trying to “jump on the same bandwagon” as the US and Israel, who were behind the original cyber-weapon – Stuxnet. Adding that like the nuclear scientists in a similar way lost their innocence in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, computer scientists lost their innocence in 2009 when Stuxnet infected a Siemens PLC device in the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran.

Both Kaspersky and Hypponen agree that the next major military engagement will involve a major cyber element, and while the battle won’t be completely online, it will be a major aspect of the war.

“I think we’ve only seen the very beginning of these problems,” Hypponen says.

Weapons of Mass Destruction – Download here!

“Attribution is one of the biggest challenges in this area – and one of the strengths for governments as they can launch a cyber-weapon]and then deny it. The difficultly of attribution is that it is very easy to leave false flags, or false leads,” according to the head of F-Secure, Mikko Hypponen. Adding that what set cyber-weapons apart from traditional weapons was the fact that anyone could get their hands on one of these weapons, unlike a nuclear bomb, missiles or tanks which only armies would have access to.

The conference in Munich took place just one week after the Kaspersky Labs announced the discovery of Red October, a highly complex piece of malware which was used by the owners to spy on embassies, diplomats, scientific organisations and other government organisations for five years without being detected.

It is unclear who is behind this attack.

Kaspersky says that in his opinion there are three possible creators  of the Red October software:

Spying Is Not War!

images (2)The first possibility is a nation-state, though the fact the malware was written in Russian didn’t automatically mean Russia was behind the attack, Kaspersky underlined.

The second possibility would be a hacktivist group like Anonymous, who could use the sensitive data stolen to advance their operations around the globe.

Finally, Kaspersky pointed to the most scary alternative –  that criminals could be behind the attack, selling the classified data to anyone from fellow criminals to governments looking for information on a neighbouring state.

Hypponen, however, do not consider this to be an act of cyber-warfare.

“Spying is not war, espionage is not warfare. The fact we have a lot of online espionage – such as Red October – is not warfare, it’s spying. Cyber]warfare is targeting critical infrastructure, because our infrastructure is run by computers,” he says.

Tech to Hack!

0Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary said back in October that the US faced the threat of a “cyber Pearl Harbour” and was increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could attack the nation’s power grid, transportation system, and government.

And Kaspersky believes that we are nowhere near ready to deal with the dangers that are out there. “We are very, very vulnerable.  I agree with Leon Panetta, it is just a matter of time when we have the next very serious incident.”

The Russian internet pioneer, who also have proposed digital passports for entering the web, now talks about limiting access to certain technologies. At the moment, there are a number of certain digital technologies that should be walked away from due to their danger, he says.

The idea was rejected by the majority of the security expert at te conference, including Kaspersky himself, arguing that it would be difficult to do so, or to limit the function of certain digital technology.

“Are we ready for that? Can we survive without new digital technologies? I recognise the situation as critical. We are not ready to limit their functionality, we cannot consume less IT, like oxygen or water.”

A Stage of War Is Set!

imagesHypponen says that we now are in the “first stages of a cyber-arms race” and we are beginning to see many other countries trying to “jump on the same bandwagon” as the US and Israel, who were behind the original cyber-weapon – Stuxnet.

Hypponen told the audience in Munich that in a similar way to nuclear scientists losing their innocence in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, computer scientists lost their innocence in 2009 when Stuxnet infected a Siemens PLC device in the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran.

Both Kaspersky and Hypponen agree that the next major military engagement will involve a major cyber element, and while the battle won’t be completely online, it will be a major aspect of the war.

(Source: International Business Times)

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The Stuxnet – Visualized

A video blogger named Hungry Beast is behind this fascinating visualisation of the dangerous computer virusStuxnet – know to be the first cyber weapon ever to be constructed by mankind. You’ll hopefully understand why I’m focusing on what’s going on online at the moment…

Pandora’s box has been opened; on the new battlefield the aggressors are anonymous, the shots are fired without starting wars and the foot soldiers can pull their triggers without leaving their desks.

In June last year, a computer virus called Stuxnet was discovered lurking in the data banks of power plants, traffic control systems and factories around the world. Hungry Beast introduce the video:

Pandora’s box has been opened; on the new battlefield the aggressors are anonymous, the shots are fired without starting wars and the foot soldiers can pull their triggers without leaving their desks.

Last week the United States government announced they would retaliate to a cyber-attack with conventional force. The threat is real, and the age in which a computer bug could cost lives has begun.

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