Malware hunter Kaspersky warns of cyber war dangers

Jun 06, 2012 by Steve Weizman
The Russian malware hunter whose firm discovered the Flame virus said there could be plenty more malicious code out there, and warned he feared a disastrous cyber attack could be coming.

The Russian malware hunter whose firm discovered the Flame virus said Wednesday there could be plenty more malicious code out there, and warned he feared a disastrous cyber attack could be coming.

"It's quite logical that there are new cyber weapons designed, and maybe already computers infected that we don't know about," Eugene Kaspersky, founder of , said on the fringes of a Tel Aviv University conference.

Kaspersky Lab, one of the world's biggest producers of anti-virus software, said its experts discovered Flame during an investigation prompted by the .

Iran appears to have been the main target of the attack which was discovered just a month after the Islamic republic said it halted the spread of a data-deleting virus targeting in its oil sector.

The Moscow-based firm said the virus was "about 20 times larger than Stuxnet," the worm which was discovered in June 2010 and used against Iran's , with Israel widely suspected of involvement.

Observers have speculated Israel may also have been involved in Flame, but Kaspersky declined to speculate, saying its development was not necessarily limited to the most technologically advanced countries.

"Flame is extremely complicated but I think that many countries can do the same or similar -- even the countries which don't have expertise at the moment," he said.

But other analysts have described the virus as "clumsy," saying it was unsophisticated and did not resemble the work of a country with highly advanced technological capacities.

Kaspersky put the development costs of Flame at "less than $100 million" (80 million euros) but said the potential damage caused by such programmes was likely to be enormous.

"Cyber weapons can replicate, and there could be random victims anywhere around the globe, it doesn't matter how far you are from the conflict," he said.

"It's not cyberwar, it's and I'm afraid it's just the beginning of the game."

He recalled Stuxnet and a 1970 denial of service -- or DOS -- attack that paralysed Estonia's information technology systems, and said the next wave could be far more devastating.

"I'm afraid that it will be the end of the world as we know it," he said. "I'm afraid that very soon the world will be very different."

Explore further: UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Global wave of Flame cyber attacks called staggering

May 28, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Kaspersky Lab has discovered complex malware that has been in operation for at least five years, collecting data from countries including both Israel and Iran. Kaspersky experts think the masterminds ...

Cyber strikes a 'civilised' option: Britain

Jun 03, 2012

Pre-emptive cyber strikes against perceived national security threats are a "civilised option" to neutralise potential attacks, Britain's armed forces minister said Sunday.

Kaspersky team reveals Stuxnet family of weapons

Dec 29, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Stuxnet cyber weapon that was designed to cripple control systems in Iran’s nuclear plant was just one of five weapons engineered in the same lab, and three have not been released yet. That is the ...

Flame virus a new age cyber spy tool

May 31, 2012

The Flame computer virus that smoldered undetected for years in Middle Eastern energy facilities confirmed fears that the world has entered a new age of cyber espionage and sabotage.

Obama stepped up cyberattacks on Iran: report

Jun 01, 2012

US President Barack Obama accelerated cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear program and expanded the assault even after the Stuxnet virus accidentally escaped in 2010, the New York Times reported Friday.

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

18 hours ago

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

18 hours ago

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

Nov 25, 2014

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TS1
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2012
A "1970 denial of service -- or DOS -- attack that paralysed Estonia's information technology systems".

Wow I did not know Estonia's computers were network connected to a sufficient degree in 1970. Nowadays many DOS attacks rely on the TCP protocol that has its origin in a 1974 paper. So perhaps he meant "1970's" (the decade) and not 1970 (the year). Or otherwise that attack was on some other protocol.

I am interested in computing history so if anyone knows what kind of attack that could have been, any details are appreciated.
gwrede
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2012
1970 Estonia didn't have computers nor networks. A major cyber attack from Russia occurred in 2007.
kaasinees
3 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2012
Lol get Linux you douchebags.
wiyosaya
1 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2012
Yet another advertisement from Kapersky designed to scare everyone into buying their "defense" software. Since when did Phys.Org start running free commercials for companies?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.