Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security The Military IT

Kaspersky Says Cyber Weapons "Cleaner" Than Traditional Weapons But "Much Worse" 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-me-email-or-give-me-death dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "Eugene Kaspersky and Mikko Hypponen have been watching the cyber security world every since happy hackers were writing viruses for nothing more than their own entertainment. Today however things are very much different. At the DLD 2013 conference, the pair debated the current state of cyber warfare and cyber weapons. Kaspersky said that while cyber weapons may be much 'cleaner' than traditional missiles, guns and bombs, they are 'much worse' as they can be used by just about anyone who has some level of computer proficiency. Both agreed that it was very difficult to protect against the highly-complex nation-state developed malware like Stuxnet, Flame and Gauss. Hypponen said that we are in the 'first stages of a cyber-arms race' warning: 'I think we've only seen the very beginning of these problems.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Kaspersky Says Cyber Weapons "Cleaner" Than Traditional Weapons But "Much Worse"

Comments Filter:
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:19AM (#42647769)

    I am not surprised by Kapersky saying what he does.

    If you don't want your automation system attacked, then keep it off line and what is off line monitored and limited so it can't be accessed improperly and then treat your crew right...with supervision.

    Life is not easy.

  • Re:not worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Elbereth (58257) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:45AM (#42648103) Journal

    It's not just Internet-connected infrastructure. In many cases, people took the proper precautionary steps, but weren't actively paranoid. To protect your infrastructure today, you really do need to be paranoid. People bring in gadgets infected with malware, plug the malware-infected gadget into a PC, and the PC infects every system on the network. OK, so you ban people from bringing in gadgets, and now you remove all secretarial PCs from the main network. Maybe you even disable every USB port and force people to use PS/2 keyboards and mice. Well, the next infection comes in from a contractor who installs software directly from the manufacturer. If the hackers know that you use Flash and/or Java in your company's intranet, it's not inconceivable that they manage to infect Flash or Java. I mean, we're talking about nation states here. They can do whatever the fuck they want, and money is not much of an issue.

    Somewhere along the line, people with resources a hundred times greater than yours will come up with a line of attack that you didn't defend against. And if you protect against everything obvious, who knows what the crazy fuckers will do? If I were on the Iranian nuclear power commission, I'd probably give the Americans and Israelis a semi-obvious backdoor to my network, just so that they don't send in black ops teams. I'm not saying that I think the Americans and Israelis would be so stupid, but, then again, these people probably grew up watching James Bond movies. They probably think that shit is exciting.

  • Just about anyone. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @12:13PM (#42648335)

    they are 'much worse' as they can be used by just about anyone who has some level of computer proficiency. Both agreed that it was very difficult to protect against the highly-complex nation-state developed malware like Stuxnet, Flame and Gauss.

    Um, nation-states are not "just about anyone". They actually tend to be the same people who have all those "dirty" traditional weapons too. Sure, in theory some rogue basement dweller could launch a massive cyber attack just before his mother calls him up for dinner, but in general such attacks build on information gathered by intelligence services and the State Department (you need to know what you are targeting to do it efficiently).

    The fact that such dire warnings come from someone who just happens to profit from the existence and above all fear of malware makes it a little hard for me to take it as seriously as he apparently does.

    Incidentally, if some basement dweller on the other side of the planet really does pose a threat to your national security, you need to fire the clowns who set up your IT infrastructure and hire some people who actually know wtf they are doing. Stay on top of exploits, keep your software and patchsets up-to-date, plug the holes in your firewalls, don't do stupid things like plaintext storage of passwords anywhere, force the use of keys where possible, etc... you know, all the basic stuff that gets discussed whenever security comes up. Most successful attacks that make the news are not examples of very clever attackers but rather abysmally unaware defenders.

    Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but from here it looks like someone complaining that they're car might get stolen because they keep leaving it running with the doors open in a busy part of town with no police or cameras. "Omg auto theft is likely to go up and people will be run over by inexperienced/drunk/high drivers who shouldn't be behind the wheel, we must do something!" Yeah, park it in a better spot, turn of the engine, take the keys out of the ignition, lock the door, and come back to check on it at least once a day. Derp.

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...