21 January 2011, 15:27

Trojan weapons instead of missiles

Trojan weapons instead of missiles
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Cyber attacks may trigger a global man-made catastrophe, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) experts say. They warn that if hackers succeed in finding defects in basic technical protocols ensuring the provision of data, the possible damage will be comparable with the consequences of a global natural cataclysm.

Cyber attacks may trigger a global man-made catastrophe, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) experts say. They warn that if hackers succeed in finding defects in basic technical protocols ensuring the provision of data, the possible damage will be comparable with the consequences of a global natural cataclysm.

The OECD analysts believe the danger is exacerbated if a number of events coincide. This might mean 2 simultaneous cyber attacks or a hackers’ attack accompanied by a natural calamity or a terrorist attack. In this case, the conditions for what could be termed as the “ideal storm”, that is, a situation, when several natural calamities occur simultaneously at one place and severely multiply their destructive force.  

Not only underage hackers and terrorists play dangerous virtual games today. Adults also do that. For example, the director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Volker Perthes. According to the ill-famed Wikileaks website, last January he sent a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to  Germany, saying that it would be good for Washington to implement a policy of “covert sabotage” towards  Iran’s  nuclear facilities, including hacking into computers and also masterminding “accidents” and explosions, What is of interest here is that he was not put on the terrorist list for his recommendations – on the contrary, influential  American  officials, including former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, took them into account.

It seems that the new Stuxnet Trojan Virus (Stuxnet Trojan Worm), revealed in teh summer of 2010, was borne of this fruitful cooperation. According to the OECD analysts, it was created specially for penetrating into the computer systems of the Iranian uranium enrichment plants.

Only several years ago such stories caused people to smile ironically: “experts” are again scaring us, they said. However, technologies are developing, and today you can find cyber attacks not only in futuristic novels but also in real life. And if earlier, in the majority of cases, bank accounts served as targets for hackers, in recent times, their efforts have been aimed at the management systems of big corporations and highly protected facilities. Information about such attacks appears almost every week. Deplorably, there is no 100 percent protection against them as yet, an information security expert, Alexander Vlasov, said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.   

"The problem here lies in the balance between sophisticated methods of attacks, which are becoming more and more sophisticated with every passing day, and protection systems. One more question that arises here is whether only the owners of such facilities must finance protection against potential terrorists. As world practice shows, only the owners do that now. However, there’s much talk in the world today that the State must also take the responsibility and protect its citizens. And as regards the 100 per cent protection, it simply doesn’t exist. It is so expensive that it is actually unaffordable."     

What seems to be absolutely clear today is that the State must supervise the security of oil and gas pipelines, and of course, the security of nuclear power plants. And what offers proof of this is the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which affected not only Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia but also a number of European countries.  All these countries are situated far from the USA. And as it appears, the White House officials do not read the OECD reports. According to the Wikileaks website, they act on recommendations of men of genius from Germany, who are sure that in the 21st century the Trojan weapon is much more effective than a ballistic missile.

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