Flame virus the latest weapon in the growing, unacknowledged cyber war. Iran is getting bombarded by another round of devastating attacks, ravaging infrastructure, destroying the country from the inside out. No, this isn’t a plot from a book this is reality. A cyber reality where new and powerful viruses are doing the attacks.
No one is sure where these viruses, Flame and Stuxnet, originated. Speculation is that the United States and/or Israel is behind their creation but no one is for sure. What they do know is that these vicious programs are specifically designed to carry out espionage, data collection, and destruction in specific types of systems. Purposefully designed with a mission or not these are software packages that are meant to be spread. Unlike bombs or missiles, these weapons do not destroy themselves. How can the designers ensure these weapons stay on course?
The more powerful the viruses get the more risk we are of these getting loose into the wild. In a more dire scenario these could be reverse engineered, cracked open and turned back against us. Depending on how they are released, the cyber war could bring down the whole Internet infrastructure. A rogue virus meant for a Middle East power substation instead hits the Intercontinental back bones and consumes so much bandwidth everything grinds to a halt.
Reading on how these viruses are used in the first place tells us that they are simply delivered over the Internet. The wide expanse of connectivity, the blurred lines between the Cloud and private networks, everything connected at some level. A silent cyber war with a fragile Internet infrastructure, and it is fragile, is a recipe for disaster.
The World has a new meaning, the world is a continuation of data, break that and large portions of businesses and society will not to function if the Internet is gone. It’s part of all of us now and there is a dangerous war being waged behind the scenes. A nuclear attack would take out chunks of infrastructure, buildings, relatively isolated damage. An Internet war could spread across the globe at the speed of light and take out the world without a single bullet, bomb or missile.
Let’s hope the creators know how to control their creations.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.