Archive for June 2012

Cyber experts warn of new ‘intelligent weapons’

TALLINN — Quick advances in cyber war technologies could soon lead to a new generation of so-called “intelligent cyber weapons” which top global IT defence experts warn could be virtually unstoppable.

“Rapid developments in cyber (technology) might lead to intelligent cyber weapons that are hard to control and it’s practically impossible to use formal methods of verifying the safety of intelligent cyber weapons by their users,” Enn Tyugu, IT expert at Tallinn’s NATO Cyber Defence Centre said at its fourth annual conference Thursday.

He also warned that programmes developed to counter attacks by malwares like Stuxnet can act independently and could possibly themselves spark conflicts.

“They are quite autonomous, and can operate independently in an unfriendly environment and might at some point become very difficult to control… that can lead to cyber conflict initiated by these agents themselves,” Tyugu said.

“Stuxnet and Flame have shown the side of cyber of which the average user does not think of but which will bring a lot of challenges to all experts who deal with critical infrastructure protection issues – IT experts, lawyers, policy makers,” Ilmar Tamm, Head of the NATO Cyber Defence Centre told AFP Thursday.

“The number of cyber conflicts keeps rising and it is important to understand who the actors in these events are, how to classify these events and participants, and how to interpret all that,” Tamm said, noting Western leaders have been slow to become aware of even existing cyber threats.

Experts at the conference noted that both China and Russia have significantly upgraded their cyber-defence capabilities in recent years by creating new IT units.

“But the most powerful weapon today in cyber space is still the propaganda, the chance to use the Internet to spread your message,” Kenneth Geers, US cyber defence expert told some 400 top IT gurus attending the meeting Thursday.

From RawStory.com: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/07/cyber-experts-warn-of-intelligent-weapons/

Russian malware hunter warns: dangerous cyber attack could be coming

The Russian malware hunter whose firm discovered the Flame virus said Wednesday there could be plenty more malicious code out there, and warned he feared a disastrous cyber attack could be coming.

“It’s quite logical that there are new cyber weapons designed, and maybe already computers infected that we don’t know about,” Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Lab, said on the fringes of a Tel Aviv University cyber security conference.

Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s biggest producers of anti-virus software, said its experts discovered Flame during an investigation prompted by the International Telecommunication Union.

Iran appears to have been the main target of the attack which was discovered just a month after the Islamic republic said it halted the spread of a data-deleting virus targeting computer servers in its oil sector.

The Moscow-based firm said the virus was “about 20 times larger than Stuxnet,” the worm which was discovered in June 2010 and used against Iran’s nuclear facilities, with Israel widely suspected of involvement.

Observers have speculated Israel may also have been involved in Flame, but Kaspersky declined to speculate, saying its development was not necessarily limited to the most technologically advanced countries.

“Cyber weapons can replicate, and there could be random victims anywhere around the globe, it doesn’t matter how far you are from the conflict,” he said. “It’s not cyberwar, it’s cyberterrorism and I’m afraid it’s just the beginning of the game.”

He recalled Stuxnet and a 1970 denial of service — or DOS — attack that paralysed Estonia’s information technology systems, and said the next wave could be far more devastating.

“I’m afraid that it will be the end of the world as we know it,” he said. “I’m afraid that very soon the world will be very different.”

From RawStory.com: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/06/russian-malware-hunter-warns-dangerous-cyber-attack-could-be-coming/