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Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

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’

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

kasperskyminiflamedistrib

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

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Russia’s Kaspersky Lab Cracks Password Attached to Alleged U.S. Cyber Weapon

What Flame did to Iranian computers. (Image: William Warby, Flickr)

The Cold War is over and Russia and America are getting along. So surely the Men in Black behind the United States’ cyber weapons program based at Area 51 or wherever will not be too concerned that a Russian researcher cracked an encoded password associated with the now infamous, allegedly American-made Flame malware.

Symantec and Kaspersky recently teamed to pick apart Flame’s command and control systems, discovering at least three previously unknown infectious scripts in the process. The researchers also discovered a great deal about how the weapons were assembled and launched against enemy targets, but were left with a hashed passcode they couldn’t break. They put out a call for help but didn’t need the assistance of anyone outside either outfit, after all: Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Researchers Uncover U.S. Footprints in Mysterious Cyber Warfare Tools

Attack workflow for Flame controllers (Symantec)

Kaspersky Lab and Symantec have teamed up to peel apart the United States’ cyber warfare efforts. So far, they have uncovered the command and control systems behind the sophisticated malware as well as three previously unknown chunks of malicious code possibly related to alleged American cyber superbugs Flame and Duqu.

Reuters reports that researchers from the security firms discovered how the malware was disseminated–through an outwardly innocent-seeming content management system (CMS) named Newsforyou: Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Nonstop Cyber Warfare Is Your Scary New Jam

This guy is everywhere now. (Image Devdsp on Flickr

Humanity’s fear of “war without end” has yet to be completely fulfilled in the analog world, but state-sponsored cyber warfare has been afoot for years and is only getting worse. That’s one takeaway from cyber security expert Pete Warren’s report in The Guardian on government-created malware.

Mr. Warren consulted a number of anonymous security experts with military ties to get a sense of how long major governments have been developing nefarious software packages like Flame, Duqu and Stuxnet. Some systems, writes Mr. Warren, “have been under development since at least 1996.”  Moreover, the United States and its allies aren’t the only nations with skin in the malware game: Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Kaspersky Lab IS ON IT: Discovers Yet Another Computer Virus Aimed at the Middle East

Mr. Kaspersky not looking supervillain-like at all. (Photo: flickr.com/cebitaus

Eugene Kaspersky’s security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have sleuthed out a new “cyber-espionage weapon.” The Russian supervillain’s (or awesomely cool billionaire, depending on your point of view) labs say this weapon has nearly as cool a name as previously discovered cyber worms Flame and Duqu–“Gauss.” It also has a specific and potentially telling target: Lebanese lending institutions. Bloomberg tells us more: Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Yup, Flame Probably Was Part of U.S. Efforts to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

Let slip the dogs of cyber war. (flickr.com/anhonorablegerman)

We already suspected this to be the case, and now the Washington Post has confirmation from unnamed officials that yes, the U.S. was behind the Flame virus infecting computers across the Middle East, as part of a campaign to slow the development of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. In other news, America’s cyber weapons program apparently has more leaks than a watering can.

The Post reports: Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Cue the Conspiracy Theories: Parts of Flame Virus Are Nearly Identical to Stuxnet

It’s going to be even harder for President Obama to distance himself from Stuxnet now. As Reuters reports, Kaspersky Lab, a leading computer security firm in Moscow, has discovered that portions of code in the newer Flame virus are “nearly identical” to code in Stuxnet, the cyber weapon reportedly used by the United States and Israel to disrupt Iran’s nuclear initiatives.

This new discovery is likely to fuel theories from security experts that Stuxnet was part of an American-led cyber program “that is still active in the Middle East and perhaps other parts of the world,” says Reuters. Not the best way to win those hearts and minds! Read More