Flame and DuQu: Precursors to “Weapons of Mass Cyber Destruction?”

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on May 30, 2012 10:20 PM EDT
ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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Up until now, the ultra-sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm has held pride of place as the most impressive cyber weapon known to have been launched against an international opponent. Happily, while the number of garden variety cyber attacks continues to rise, malware with the sophistication of Stuxnet has been extremely rare.  Recently, though, two new programs have been uncovered that appear to equal or exceed the complexity of Stuxnet.  And that's not good.

Researchers at the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics believe that the other piece of malware, which they co-discovered and announced and named sKyWIper (also called Flame, or Flamer, by other researchers), may have already been in the wild for as long as 5 to 8 years already. And its powers are formidible. As the lab concluded in a detailed report, "arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found."

What we've entered is an arm's race to develop (allow me to coin a new phrase here) what we should refer to as “Weapons of Mass Cyber Destruction.” And the barriers to entry to this club are very low.

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