Expert Thoughts

Next Gen Warfare: Hackers, Not the Government, Will Fight Our Next Big War


War is raging in Crimea. It is marked by all characteristics we have come to expect of modern warfare. Irregular troops, in and out of uniform, conducting operations in urban centers, supported by technology, televised all over the world in full HD. On top, is waged a layer of what we’ve come to know as cyberwar. A relatively new domain of warfare, its tactics are more likely to be borrowed from the hacker community than from militaries of old. The theft and manipulation of information trump destroying targets.

What’s most interesting, however, has less to do with how, and much more to do with who is fighting this cyberwar. Read More


Booting Up: Yes, Eric Schmidt Loves His BlackBerry

(Photo: Talk Android)

Google has applied for a new patent that shows the company is thinking about programming Google Glass to be able to control objects like your garage door and your refrigerator. You’d simply look at your fridge door and superimposed controls would be reflected onto it, telling you you need milk. Uh, want? [Engadget]

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads our rumor roundup, but turns out Google chairman Eric Schmidt does indeed prefer his BlackBerry over an Android phone. [The Guardian]

Now Google is building a smartwatch. How many watches can one human need? [The Verge]

If you want to commit cyberwar, you’re going to need the manual. [AP]

Virtual currency like Bitcoin is getting money laundering rules that will hold providers accountable in a similar manner to money-order providers like Western Union. Sorry, Silk Road. [Wall Street Journal]

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Preemptive Cyber Strikes Doctrine: Expect More Stuxnets

President Barack Obama does not want Wikipedia to shut down again. (Photo: Wikimedia)

With cyber attacks whistling by at an ever-increasing clip, it’s not surprising that the Obama administration is hard at work nailing down how to respond. The policies will remain hush-hush once they’re finalized, but the New York Times (which previously connected the president to the deployment of Stuxnet) has one juicy tidbit: A classified legal review has found that the president has “broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad.”

That’ll sound familiar to anyone who hasn’t entirely repressed the memory of the Bush administration! (Mr. President, a very agitated Colin Powell is on line two. Something about enriched uranium and the U.N.?) Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Kaspersky Lab Unearths Cyber-Spying Operation, Christens It ‘Red October’


The Russian antivirus firm that first fingered Stuxnet as a state-sponsored cyberattack is outing massive clandestine digital operations once more. This time, Kaspersky Lab says they’ve uncovered a massive, years-long cyber-espionage campaign. The perpetrators: unknown. Demonstrating a rather charming flare for the dramatic, the Moscow-based researchers have dubbed the network “Red October.”

We had long Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Meet MiniFlame, The Ninja Assassin of Cyber Warfare Tools


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 they announced the discovery of the Flame malware’s baby cousin, MiniFlame.

Kaspersky’s bug hunters found that MiniFlame’s association with Flame and related infections was Transformers-like in nature: Read More

Cyber Nukes

Iranian Atomic Scientists Reportedly Being Assaulted With AC/DC


Looks like the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz is, at the very least, 0 for 2 against cyber attacks. First came Stuxnet, which wreaked havoc with the equipment used to purify uranium. And now–at least, if a recent report (via VentureBeat) is true–they are dealing with a malware infestation involving sudden, late-night AC/DC.

F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen received the following email from someone who claimed to be an Iranian nuclear scientist:  Read More

Cyber Nukes

‘Olympic Games’ Sounds Like the Manhattan Project of Cyber Warfare

Let slip the dogs of cyber war. (

Gather ’round, readers, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for a cyberwar spy thriller, courtesy of the New York Times. The paper of record has an excerpt of a new book that offers a thorough history of the top-secret origins of the Stuxnet worm, and it is a corker.

So: Stuxnet, rather than a lone experiment, is actually part of a larger program designed to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear work. Dubbed “Olympic Games,” work began under George W. Bush and continued under Barack Obama, in partnership with Israel. President Obama not only signed off on the program, but ramped it up. It wasn’t supposed to escape Iran’s nuclear facilities at Natanz, but escape it did, apparently as the result of some “programming error.”

We’ve seen enough a) virus-infected laptops and b) zombie movies that we could’ve told the president that would happen. Read More