Tag Archives: Stuxnet

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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All Human Rights Reserved (h) 2013

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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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Cyber Attack Against Norwegian Military, Massive and Targeted

On March 25 this year a massive and targeted cyber attack was launched against the Norwegian Military Forces – Forsvaret – according several Norwegian news sources. It is being described as one of the most serious so far. Local experts fear more attacks, capable of paralyzing the entire Norwegian economy.

It is likely that important computer systems are infected, and that information has been lost.

National Security Authority

On March 25, hundreds of emails was sent to high-ranking officers in the Norwegian military – Forsvaret. The message was disguised as a regular message from the public directorate, written in perfect Norwegian, with an innocent looking file attached. One person opened the file – and the fight was on.

According to the military spokespersons, the computer where the infected file was activated did not contain any classified information. The attack was discovered and stopped before any sensitive or confidetial information was stolen.

But some data was stolen. It is still unknown how much, and what, information that has been stolen, says Major Ivar Kjaerem at the Military Center for Protection of Critical Information, according the newspaper VG.

And I presume its gonna stay that way…

Cyber attack against Norway have become more like an online game, specially  after last years Peace Prize award.
The Norwegian oil installations in the North Sea was also among the first to detect infections by the Stuxnet worm.

But this one is almost as special as the Stuxnet.

First of all: It seems to have been very well planned, organized and executed. Almost with a military precision.


Secondly: The attackers did already posess detailed information about the Norwegian military as they were able to target between 200 and 300 high-ranking and influential officers.

And third: I happens the day after Norwegian Air Forces has their first raid over Libya.

When it comes to the last point, no one can say for sure if there is any  connection or not.

However, the incident has surely scared the Norwegian military who characterize it as one of the most serious cyber attacks so far.

And the military spokesman seem to suddenly have realized that we ain’t seen nothing, yet.

I belive it is some kind of recognition mission, an attempt to map our systems and possible vulnerabilities, Major Kjaerem says, indicating the expectation of new attacks.

And, of course, the military spokesman underline that they managed to stop this one, and the possibility of anyone penetration the Norwegian military’s security system is very low.

Here’s come the part when I have trouble not laughing…


So, they managed to stop the attack? Our brave soliders? Well, this is what really happened:

The email was received on a Friday afternoon. But some hyperactive warlord decided to pop by the office on Saturday, just to check if we’ve had hit Gaddafi and check the mail and stuff, You know.

What happens next is described by the newspaper VG as follows:

The sender, who was named in the email, did not exist, and it was the aware  receiver who raised the alarm because it was something else attached to the email than the annual report from the Directorate. The attachment behaved strangely, and the person became suspicions.

Well done! boys and girls.

Quite frankly, I’m speechless…

Anyway – last year the Norwegian National Security Authority warned against the threats from cyberspace in their recent 2010 report.

The report states:

It is likely that important computer systems are infected, and that information has been lost.

We we regard it as a very serious matter when the Norwegian military gets attacked like this, says spokesman Kjetil Veire with the National Security Authority.

Adding: When it comes to infected computers, we fear there is a large dark zone. What we have seen here might just be the tip of an iceberg.

No kidding!

But finally security expert at the company Steria, Stein Moellerstad, put the closet in the right corner:

The number of attacks against the Norwegian military will increase. And they can cause more serious damage because the flow of information through the internet has become so huge that both the military and the rest of the public administration has partly lost control.

According to the National Security Authority 2010 report, are cyber attacks capable of paralyzing the entire Norwegian economy in a worst case scenario.

So, now the speculations about who might be behind this are running totally wild.

Local experts say that only about 10 nations in world is capable of launching an attack as this.

That’s bullshit.

Anyone with above average computer skills with a coup;e of buddies to help with the actual launch could do this.

The suspects are millions.

In my mind the most interesting question is: Why Norway?

I mean, we haven’t got much oil left, we’ve sold it all. The same goes for the technology. In other words – not much to spy on.

I assume the NATO material is under a special NATO security facility.

And our famous Oil Fund? Well, we impulsively bought Greek debt for about one billion USD. Perhaps we shouldn’t, but that Greek prime minister look so nice.

The rest is probably gone in a few years anyway as the government will have to pay for all its promises, specially within the health care sector.

It means we don’t have that much money, either.

In fact, I can only see one logical reason to Norway being targeted in this scale:

It’s just too damn easy!

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