It was a Sunday afternoon in August 2012 and Gert-Jan Schenk, the European head of cyber security giant McAfee, had just arrived home from summer vacation.
As he busied himself with unpacking luggage, Schenk’s mobile phone rang, displaying an unfamiliar number. The father of two had his hands full with bags and kids, so he let it go to voicemail. Then the number rang again, and then a third time, before Schenk finally put his things down and answered the phone.
Earlier this year Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5 (the UK Security Service), warned that cyber attacks against UK plc were as much of a security challenge as terrorism as far as Britain was concerned. He claimed that UK businesses were being targeted at an 'astonishing' rate driven by "many thousands of people lying behind both state-sponsored cyber espionage and organised cyber crime".
Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have been patiently picking apart the ingenious malware packages that romped through computer networks in the Middle East, sucking up data and destroying Iranian nuclear centrifuges and it seems Kaspersky finds a new addition to the allegedly U.S. and Israeli-sponsored family of cyber-weapons every other month. Monday theyannounced the discovery of the Flame malware’s baby cousin, MiniFlame.
The likelihood that critical infrastructures are woefully vulnerable has been predicted for many years by a few in security circles. Sadly, the reality hit home again last week with the disclosure of ongoing hacks on utilities at national and international levels.
Iranian Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Reza Taqipour told the Fars news agency that a national center to coordinate the cyber rescue units among the executive organizations.
Stuxnet worm has attacked Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment center's computers in 2010. After that, during last and current years, Ququ and Flame spy malwares attacked on Iranian computers reportedly.
In April 2011, Iranian officials announced that the country had been targeted by a new computer worm named Stars.
Are we ready for Cyber War? Will a digital Cyber War result in hundreds of millions of deaths both here in the United States and the rest of the world? Are you ready for it? Can you survive without a grocery store and electricity? If not, then you had better get yourself to where you can. If not, then you will be one of the casualties of this next war.
U.S. fears science fiction-style sabotage in new wave of cyber attacks
Malware once were used primarily to destroy the victim's PC, but the scenario has completely changed today.
While surviving the need of wanting to harm with malicious software, for example in the development of cyber weapons, the current trend is to develop agents that serve primarily to the function of spying.
The Stuxnet computer virus, suspected to have been created by the CIA to impede Iran’s nuclear program, may have led to extensive collateral damage by affecting Siemens control software in India and Indonesia to a large extent and in over 100 other countries to a smaller extent.
Since first being detected in 2010, Stuxnet infected over 8,500 Indian systems in the first five days, another 5,000 in Indonesia and about 3,000 in Iran, according to media reports. In all Siemens control software systems in 115 countries are suspected to have been affected.
A senior Iranian lawmaker has lauded Tehran’s achievements in the field of cyber defense, saying the country enjoys the scientific know-how to immediately defuse any threat against its cyber assets.
“Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved such scientific advancement in the field of cyber operations that it can defuse any attack at the shortest possible time,” Mansour Haqiqatpour, a member of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, told ICANA on Saturday.