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Should we applaud or be worried? Options · View
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:58:09 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 11,332
Location: Cakeland
World's 1st Cyber-Missile Nuke discovered?

(Because the link may not be active for long - the following is a snippet)

Cyber security experts say they have identified the world's first known cyber super weapon designed specifically to destroy a real-world target – a factory, a refinery, or just maybe a nuclear power plant.

The cyber worm, called Stuxnet, has been the object of intense study since its detection in June. As more has become known about it, alarm about its capabilities and purpose have grown. Some top cyber security experts now say Stuxnet's arrival heralds something blindingly new: a cyber weapon created to cross from the digital realm to the physical world – to destroy something.

At least one expert who has extensively studied the malicious software, or malware, suggests Stuxnet may have already attacked its target – and that it may have been Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, which much of the world condemns as a nuclear weapons threat.

The appearance of Stuxnet created a ripple of amazement among computer security experts. Too large, too encrypted, too complex to be immediately understood, it employed amazing new tricks, like taking control of a computer system without the user taking any action or clicking any button other than inserting an infected memory stick. Experts say it took a massive expenditure of time, money, and software engineering talent to identify and exploit such vulnerabilities in industrial control software systems.

Unlike most malware, Stuxnet is not intended to help someone make money or steal proprietary data. Industrial control systems experts now have concluded, after nearly four months spent reverse engineering Stuxnet, that the world faces a new breed of malware that could become a template for attackers wishing to launch digital strikes at physical targets worldwide. Internet link not required.

"Until a few days ago, people did not believe a directed attack like this was possible," Ralph Langner, a German cyber-security researcher, told the Monitor in an interview. He was slated to present his findings at a conference of industrial control system security experts Tuesday in Rockville, Md. "What Stuxnet represents is a future in which people with the funds will be able to buy an attack like this on the black market. This is now a valid concern."


Like most 'things' - this could be both good, and bad. There have been a few instances over the last few years, (for those of us familiar with the computer and networking worlds) where sabotage and mischievousness have been apparently directed to cause internet downtime or political disruptions - using high-tech. A few years ago, deep sea fiber optic cables were cut - twice, cutting off hi-speed internet directly from North Africa to America. Other networking picked up the slack somewhat for the regions affected, but those areas suffered from information loss just the same.

Just before and during the Olympics in China, there was apparently an attempt to shut down portions of China's internet (by the regime or by outside forces, it is still an unknown).

Recently in America, it was revealed that legislature is attempting to be passed, which would give the American President the ability to cut North America off the internet in a 'time of crisis' of the choosing of the US Government.

How does all this play out for the rest of us, who have come to depend on the internet for our news and for nearly instant information from around the globe?

Can our machines in our homes and laptop cases ever be utilized as one large terror network (unbeknownst to us)? Much like the scenario seen at the end of the 3rd and last Schwarzenegger - TERMINATOR movie.

In the overall scheme of 'things' - does this even matter to you? Would it be a great way to prevent actual nuclear war, or...encourage it?

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:48:51 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/28/2009
Posts: 1,293
I love how vague Yahoo news can be about how things actually work. Loads of hype and scare tactics there.
Stuxnet Sting information at Technet
Here is a URL with more specific information on how things work.

All I can say is that anyone running an nuclear power plant with MS Windows deserves to have the damn thing blow up. Nuclear power plants, and every critical application, should not be allowed to use MS. Ask the London Stock Exchange how that worked out for them.

Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:57:29 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 11,332
Location: Cakeland
I hope the Iranians are still using Win95 or DOS 3.1

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:19:01 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 918,854
That's scary. Much scarier than Zombies.
Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:42:35 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,025
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
I vote to be worried - Let's call the One, you know, that Dude Neo from Matrix to save us. computer

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
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