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Stuxnet

 
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 09:43    Post subject: Stuxnet Reply with quote

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A super virus that was used to disrupt Iran's nuclear programme has been traded on the black market and could be used by terrorists, according to Sky News sources.

Senior cyber-security figures have said the Stuxnet worm - the first to have been used to damage targets in the real world - could be used to attack any physical target which relies on computers.

The list of vulnerable installations is almost endless – they include power stations, food distribution networks, hospitals, traffic lights and even dams.

A senior IT security source said: "We have hard evidence that the virus is in the hands of bad guys – we can't say any more than that but these people are highly motivated and highly skilled with a lot of money behind them.

"And they have realised that this kind of virus could be a devastating tool."

Will Gilpin, an IT security consultant to the UK Government said: "You could shut down the police 999 system.

"You could shut down hospital systems and equipment.

"You could shut down power stations, you could shut down the transport network across the United Kingdom."

The Stuxnet attack on the Bushehr nuclear installation in Iran is believed to have been orchestrated by a country.

Now experts warn that the West is extremely vulnerable to similar attacks by criminal gangs seeking blackmail payouts or more likely by terrorist groups.

Stewart Baker, a former assistant secretary with the US Department of Homeland Security, said: "They could shut down power systems, dams, almost any sophisticated industrial process that requires a control software. Which is practically everything."

There has been a rise in cyber attacks in recent years.

On April 8, 15% of all internet traffic was routed through China for 18 minutes in a mysterious incident the Chinese authorities have denied any part in.

The Royal Navy's website was shut down on November 5, allegedly by a Romanian hacker.

In October, the UK Government declared cyber warfare to be a "tier 1" threat to national security.

But experts say a more co-ordinated effort is needed to tackle attacks, along the lines of the Cyber Command agency set up in the US this year.


Taken from Sky.com, their news report this morning was only missing a Brad Fiedel soundtrack.
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Heckler20Online
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 10:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

But for a virus, any virus to get onto any system it has to be put on there, either accidently or deliberately, therefore to eliminate the threat from 'cyber terrorism' firewall off the 'key systems' and remove the potential for the human element to allow infiltration. By which I mean you don't allow email to be sent or received on these key systems, you don't allow machines that can receive email even on the same network as key systems and all machines can be locked down to prevent any media being introduced via USB or DVD.

This stuff isn't rocket science and it doesn't involve spending very much money, certainly if you weigh up the risk assesment of potential loss compared with spend it's a no brainer.

When I read these articles I conclude that the reality is one of three likely scenarios:

1. The people who write these alarmist articles haven't a clue what they're talking about.
2. The people who run the IT behind these Key systems are already ahead of the game and have implemented all the stuff (and more no doubt) I mentioned, thus number 1. definitely applies.
3. The people who run IT behind these key systems are underpaid undertrained civil servants who haven't a clue and we should all be very afraid.......

Viruses go from super simple malicious script kiddie material to lumps of software developed to a higher degree than a great deal of commerical software by organised crime to make money. The thing they all share is a reliance on humans making the jump for the initial infection.

Surf safe folks and that email you receive that says it contains 'Naked Pictures of Hollyoaks Hotties' probably doesn't..... Wink
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 12:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sky's TV report this morning actually stated this (I paraphrase but it is close enough)...

"We understand this virus has fallen into the hands of 'bad people', we don't know who these 'bad people' are, whether they are criminals or terrorists, but we know they are 'bad people'..."

I hate those pesky 'bad people'...
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TangletwigsDeuxOffline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 13:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 13:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full text at link.

Quote:
Iran: Sanctions siege turns into cyberwarfare

Yassamine Mather writes on how the sanctions against iran have developed into Warfare. But in thiis case the Imperialist-Zionist attack consists of Cyber Warfare.

While Israel, the US and Britain keep up their rhetoric of ultimatums and threats against iran, and escalate the siege warfare of economic sanctions, Hands Off the People of iran has been warning of the very real and ominous danger of a so-called pre-emptive attack. Now things have taken an unexpected and dangerous turn. Throughout the last couple of months iran’s nuclear plants as well as a number of major industrial complexes have been targeted by a sophisticated piece of malware: Stuxnet.

According to computer experts the virus’s complexity suggests it was written by a “nation state” and it is the first known worm designed to target not software, but real-world infrastructure such as power stations, water plants and industrial units. Last week, after many denials, iran confirmed that 30,000 computers in the country’s power stations, including the nuclear reactor in Bushehr, had been attacked by the virus, blaming Israeli or American spies for infiltrating the plant.

http://www.hopi-ireland.org/
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Heckler20Online
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 14:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

McAvennie_ wrote:
I hate those pesky 'bad people'...


I bet their eyes are too close together, that's how you tell (according to my mum).
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shruggy63Offline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 19:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Taken from Sky.com, their news report this morning was only missing a Brad Fiedel soundtrack.'
What!? The Villa keeper's in on it! (Wikipedia says NO...)

The Stuxnet virus thing has raised loads of questions in my mind (potential memory overload here). I'm not an IT expert, far from it but the whole story doesn't hang together for me. It originally turned up as something that had been used to attack Iran's nuclear program so presumably it was a gift from UK/US/Israel? Then it mysteriously falls into the hands of 'bad guys', how? For the virus to be effective it would have to be highly targeted not indiscriminately spread like most ordinary malware. So, for instance, if it was used to attack the 999 system (& they say it's carried on a usb!!) they'd need someone on the inside to get it onto the system & a group of experts on 999 systems to monitor it & direct it's actions presumably. Even if it's just designed to cause chaos by doing random things to a system surely the systems that control Traffic lights are pretty different from dams, telephone exchanges, hospitals, etc?
& surely the people who set it on Iran are on our side, so surely we have the antidote available?
& who gave it the name 'stuxnet' FFS?
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 20:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

shruggy63 wrote:
'Taken from Sky.com, their news report this morning was only missing a Brad Fiedel soundtrack.'
What!? The Villa keeper's in on it! (Wikipedia says NO...)


My Wikipedia says yes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Fiedel
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eburacumOffline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 20:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a dossier on the virus by Symantec; tells you all you need to know, including the fact that it is extravagantly effective, using four day zero (hitherto unknown) attacks.

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/w32_stuxnet_dossier.pdf

Cyberwarfare could be remarkably effective, shutting down (or overheating!) nuclear power plants, computer controlled industrial processes, transport networks, ships, planes, even cars. But cyberwarfare could be much worse in a few decades time, when practically every aspect of our lives will likely be contingent upon computer systems. They better have good defences by then.
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 21:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't we been here before with Promis about twenty years ago?

See Inslaw:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inslaw
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shruggy63Offline
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PostPosted: 25-11-2010 22:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh for a comment by someone who's qualified on this subject?
When we start talking about what horrific stuff might occur if such & such happened at some point in the near future it's all so vague. Yet US defence Dept people are authoritatively advising us that it's potentially cataclysmic.
I'm getting flashbacks to the Millenium Bug! Didn't Symantec want you to A) Shit your pants & B) Buy their products back then?
I just don't believe that one piece of malware, no matter how sophisticated, could bring down any system, in any part of the world, just like that.
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Heckler20Online
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PostPosted: 26-11-2010 12:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

shruggy63 wrote:
I just don't believe that one piece of malware, no matter how sophisticated, could bring down any system, in any part of the world, just like that.


Oh I can believe that and I have seen that first hand, Symantec et al are in a constant battle to detect these things on access (a losing battle with the speed variants of these come out) but ultimately without the human element making that initial infective action, the virus writers are powerless.

This is the frustrating thing about being a Sys Admin, Virus checkers can stop the majority of users doing something they shouldn't and infecting themselves but they are only as good as their last update, what is more powerful is the thought in users' minds constantly 'Do I trust this' be it a website, download, email, whatever and if in any doubt, they shouldn't click on it.
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MrRINGOffline
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PostPosted: 12-06-2012 20:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/gadgets-and-tech/06/12/12/flame-virus-linked-stuxnet-researchers
Quote:
Flame virus linked to Stuxnet: researchers
Agence France-Presse
Posted at 06/12/2012 6:37 PM | Updated as of 06/12/2012 6:38 PM

WASHINGTON - The Flame computer virus which has been raging in the Middle East has strong links to Stuxnet, a malware program widely believed to have been developed by the United States or Israel, a security firm said Monday.

Kaspersky, the Russian computer security firm credited with discovering Flame last month, said its research shows the two programs share certain portions of code, suggesting some ties between two separate groups of programmers.

Kaspersky researcher Alexander Gostev said in a blog post that a first examination made it appear the two programs were unrelated.

"But it turns out we were wrong," he wrote. "Our research unearthed some previously unknown facts that completely transform the current view of how Stuxnet was created and its link with Flame."

Gostev said Flame, even though it was discovered just recently, appears to predate Stuxnet, which was created in 2009.

"By the time Stuxnet was created (in January-June 2009), the Flame platform was already in existence (we currently date its creation to no later than summer 2008) and already had modular structure," he said.

"The Stuxnet code of 2009 used a module built on the Flame platform, probably created specifically to operate as part of Stuxnet."

This, he said, points to the existence of "two independent developer teams... (each) developing its own platform since 2007-2008 at the latest."

Kaspersky, one of the world's biggest producers of anti-virus software, said the Flame virus was "about 20 times larger than Stuxnet," the worm which was discovered in June 2010 and used against the Iranian nuclear program.

High concentrations of computers compromised by Flame were also found in Lebanon, the West Bank and Hungary. Additional infections have been reported in Austria, Russia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

Compromised computers included many being used from home connections, according to security researchers who were looking into whether reports of infections in some places resulted from workers using laptops while traveling.

Stuxnet was designed to attack computer control systems made by German industrial giant Siemens and commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other critical infrastructure.

Most Stuxnet infections have been discovered in Iran, giving rise to speculation it was intended to sabotage nuclear facilities there. The worm was crafted to recognize the system it was to attack.

Some reports say US and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop the computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb.

Johannes Ullrich, a researcher at the Washington-based SANS Technology Institute, said the relationship between the two viruses remains unclear.

"Flame did initially appear very different, and I still think it wasn't written by the same group or individual that wrote Stuxnet," Ullrich told AFP.

"However, this doesn't mean that the two groups didn't coordinate or share code with each other. I do think this may have been the case with Stuxnet and Flame... the code could have been written by two different contractors who worked for the same government and as a result had access to each other's resources."

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse
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PostPosted: 09-11-2014 19:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

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An Unprecedented Look at Stuxnet, the World’s First Digital Weapon

In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency visiting the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran noticed that centrifuges used to enrich uranium gas were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery—apparently as much to the Iranian technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them.

Five months later a seemingly unrelated event occurred. A computer security firm in Belarus was called in to troubleshoot a series of computers in Iran that were crashing and rebooting repeatedly. Again, the cause of the problem was a mystery. That is, until the researchers found a handful of malicious files on one of the systems and discovered the world’s first digital weapon.

Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm that came before. Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment the computers controlled.

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, written by WIRED senior staff writer Kim Zetter, tells the story behind Stuxnet’s planning, execution and discovery. In this excerpt from the book, which will be released November 11, Stuxnet has already been at work silently sabotaging centrifuges at the Natanz plant for about a year. An early version of the attack weapon manipulated valves on the centrifuges to increase the pressure inside them and damage the devices as well as the enrichment process. Centrifuges are large cylindrical tubes—connected by pipes in a configuration known as a “cascade”—that spin at supersonic speed to separate isotopes in uranium gas for use in nuclear power plants and weapons. At the time of the attacks, each cascade at Natanz held 164 centrifuges. Uranium gas flows through the pipes into the centrifuges in a series of stages, becoming further “enriched” at each stage of the cascade as isotopes needed for a nuclear reaction are separated from other isotopes and become concentrated in the gas. ...

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/countdown-to-zero-day-stuxnet/
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