Friday, February 04, 2011

Cyber attacks: from Facebook to nuclear weapons

The Telegraph has a short piece on how cyber attacks are set to become part of everyday life in the 21st Century, citing such targets as social networking sites to secret nuclear facilities; and the need to establish new global conventions: 

World leaders are facing calls to amend the Geneva and Hague conventions to draw up “rules of engagement” for “cyber war”. Here are some of main types of cyber attack:
Denial-of-Service (DoS):
Also known as distributed denial-of-service attack (DdoS), this involves crmiinals attempting to bring down or cripple individual websites, computers or networks often by flooding them with messages.
Malicious software designed to take over individuals’ computers in order to spread a bug onto other people’s devices or social networking profiles. It can also infect a computer and turn it into part of a “botnet” – networks of computers controlled remotely by hackers known as “herders” to spread spam or virusus. 

State cyber attacks:
US and Israeli intelligence agencies are believed to have recently used a mysterious computer virus called Stuxnet to carry out an invisible attack on Iran’s secretive nuclear programme.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently admitted that its facilities had been infected by the programme which appears to target and disable uranium enrichment centrifuges....
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