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Huge Cyber Attack Targets Iran, Middle East

Dubbed Flame, the virus may have struck Iran's oil facilities

(Newser) - A surprisingly complex computer virus has struck Iran's oil facilities and spread across the Middle East, CNET reports. Dubbed Flame by analysts, the malware appears state-sponsored and designed to plunder data from personal computers and major networks alike, according to Russian Internet security giant Kaspersky Labs. "The complexity... More »

'Son of Stuxnet' Worm Found in Europe

Duqu designed to gather information on industrial systems, Symantec says

(Newser) - A new computer virus found in Europe and the Middle East bears a strong resemblance to the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, security experts say, but the Duqu malware's target is still unclear. Security firm Symantec says Duqu appears to be designed to gather information on... More »

US Eyed Cyberattack on Libya

Use of cyberweapons was debated, then rejected

(Newser) - The Pentagon seriously considered unleashing a cyberattack on Libya to take out the Gadhafi regime's air defenses before airstrikes began in March, officials say. But after an intense debate, administration officials decided against using a cyberattack to shield allied aircraft, the New York Times reports. The cyberattack option was... More »

US Drones Infected With Virus

Someone is logging the keystrokes of drone operators

(Newser) - America’s robot assassins have all been infected with a “keylogger” virus that tracks every move their pilots make, sources tell Wired . The military isn’t sure how the computers at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada—the nerve center that controls most drone missions—got infected, or who... More »

Tunnels? Today's Jailbreaks Need Hackers

Security experts warn about vulnerable computer systems

(Newser) - A prison warden's worst nightmare came true a few years ago: A freak power surge opened every death row inmate's door at the same time. All ended well, but a security engineer recounts the anecdote to the Huffington Post to highlight a scary vulnerability of modern prisons controlled... More »

Brand New Electronics 'Already Tainted With Malware'

Overseas hackers targeting supply chain, warns congressman

(Newser) - Some computers and other electronic imports are packed with malware before they're even out of the box, a congressional expert on cybersecurity warns. Hackers overseas planning cyber attacks are planting bad codes in components headed for the US, Rep. Jim Langevin tells Reuters . "Corrupting hardware and software is... More »

Feds Building Scale Model of the Internet

Move comes as military sees Internet as serious security threat

(Newser) - The United States is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create a "scale model" of the Internet, where military researchers can hone their cyber warfare skills, reports the BBC . The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency is overseeing the National Cyber Range project, which will allow researchers to simulate... More »

China Accuses US of Waging 'Internet War'

Sees 'shadow of America' behind Arab uprisings, urges tighter controls

(Newser) - The Chinese military issued a report today accusing the US of waging a worldwide "internet war" aimed at fomenting uprisings in the Middle East and elsewhere. Written by military academy scholars, the report urges the government to tighten its control of the web even further, according to the AP... More »

Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Qualify as Acts of War

Death and damage from online assault can result in military response

(Newser) - A cyber attack on the United States or its allies can be considered an act of war and result in a military response, says the Pentagon in its first formal document outlining its cyber strategy. The 30-page classified report—unclassified portions of which will be released next month—looks at... More »

Military's New Project: Social Media Propaganda

Centcom has put out contract for 'sock puppet' software

(Newser) - The US military has hired a California company to develop a program that will let it operate a host of bogus social media accounts, in the hopes of covertly influencing online discourse and spreading pro-American propaganda overseas, the Guardian reports. This “online persona management service” would allow each user... More »

Anonymous to Hit Quantico Over Manning Treatment

Activist hackers planning attack brig where WikiLeaker is being held

(Newser) - The group of activist hackers known as Anonymous has declared war on the US military, according to a self-styled—and not so anonymous—spokesman for the collective. Barrett Brown, who calls himself a "propagandist" for Anonymous, says the group plans to disrupt operations at the brig where accused WikiLeaker... More »

Iran Recovered Quickly From Stuxnet Sabotage

It caused barely a dent in uranium enrichment: Report

(Newser) - The mysterious Stuxnet worm attack on Iranian nuclear centrifuges was devastatingly effective—until the centrifuges it destroyed were quickly replaced, the Washington Post reports. UN cameras recorded cartloads of equipment being removed after they were rendered useless by the cyber-weapon—more than 900 centrifuges are thought have been destroyed—but... More »

Stuxnet Could Cripple America: Report

Cyberweapon could be turned against us

(Newser) - The Stuxnet cyberweapon that attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities could be turned on the United States with catastrophic results, government researchers have concluded. An unheralded Congressional report spotted by the Christian Science Monitor finds that Stuxnet could be adapted to attack the US infrastructure, causing severe damage to services like... More »

Russia Plans to Take Out WikiLeaks

NSA predicts 'ruthless' response if Assange dishes dirt on Kremlin

(Newser) - US intelligence officials think WikiLeaks has evidence of graft and corruption among Russia’s leaders, and predict that Moscow will stop at nothing to shut down the organization. “We may not have been able to stop WikiLeaks so far,” one law enforcement official tells the Daily Beast , but... More »

Virus Attacking Iran Has Israeli Calling Card

Esther mention could point finger at Israel, or be red herring

(Newser) - Computer experts have found a clue that might indicate the origin of Stuxnet , the rogue super-virus that’s believed to target Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor. One file in the code is named “Myrtus,” which can be read as a reference to Esther, the Old Testament heroine who... More »

Could 'Super Malware' Destroy Iran's Nukes?

'Stuxnet' can search and destroy real-world targets

(Newser) - It sounds like something from an awfully imaginative spy flick: A virus that can mysteriously search out and destroy real-world, bricks-and-mortar targets. But it's real, say security researchers. They've identified just such a program, called Stuxnet, and at least one expert thinks it may have already hit Iran's Bushehr nuclear... More »

North Korea Suspected in US Cyber Attack

(Newser) - North Korean hackers have been fingered for the July 4 cyberattack that took down the websites of the Treasury, Secret Service, and other US government agencies, reports the AP. Another cyberattack hit sites in South Korea, including the president's website, and intelligence officials there said today that the North was... More »

US, Russia Clash Over Cyber-Security

Countries dueling plans could prompt new arms race

(Newser) - The cold war may be going digital, the New York Times reports, as the US and Russia clash over how to combat attacks in cyberspace. Washington has dismissed Moscow’s call for an international treaty, preferring to promote cross-border cooperation in hunting down hackers. “We really believe it’s... More »

Gates Launches Cyberwar Military Command

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates launched the military's new cyberspace surveillance command yesterday, with a mission to defend military computers and to orchestrate potential cyber attacks on enemy nations, reports the Los Angeles Times. In the short run, the US Cyber Command will be part of the Strategic Command, which oversees... More »

Pentagon's Cybercommand Raises Privacy Fears

Militarization of cybersecurity fuels debate on rules of engagement

(Newser) - Plans to put America's cybersecurity under the control of the Pentagon are raising some thorny privacy and diplomacy issues, the New York Times reports. President Obama has insisted that the military, under the cybercommand being developed, will not be monitoring private sector networks and Internet traffic—but Pentagon officials say... More »

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