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Thread: Powerful 'Flame' cyber weapon found in Iran

  1. #41
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    Re: Powerful 'Flame' cyber weapon found in Iran

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    No. Any system that is receiving information from the internet, or any other source, for that matter, is susceptible to attack. You are taking information from a host, every time you view a webpage, or text, that did not originate from YOUR computer. So, anything, ANYTHING, could come along with that information you are taking. Commonly refered to as "tape". You stick something else onto something you know others are going to download...and voila, virus/worm spread. Most viruses are simple, just a bit of code designating a very specific set of actions dependent on corresponding conditions...most notably, conditions preset by the desired operating system. In other words, windows OS systems do certain things, so you write a virus to activate when those certain things are done, and you write that virus to then do certain things, like copy itself into other known windows folders, etc. We call them viruses because, like a biological virus, they are "evolved" to only target one specific thing, like mammals, or...windows operating systems.
    No I know that if you run something that is not trusted on your computer, you could be susceptible to any virus or malware. But take a web server for example, if its properly patched and designed, it should be programmed to ignore unauthorized instructions barring that someone does not guess a password. The thing is that people exploit human errors and design flaws in the system to take it over, like say buffer overflow which can rewrite code instructions.

  2. #42
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    Re: Powerful 'Flame' cyber weapon found in Iran

    Quote Originally Posted by Binary_Digit View Post
    I'm not a cyber security expert, but one of my CS courses taught us that no computer system can ever be 100% secure. The best you can do is obfuscate things so much (encryption, multiple gateways, etc.) that it *should* in practice be impossible for a hacker to reverse engineer their way in because of the complexity. But in theory if there's a front door (to allow for legitimate operations), it can always be exploited to create a back door.
    make it a closed system, and then control physical access.

  3. #43
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    Re: Powerful 'Flame' cyber weapon found in Iran

    Quote Originally Posted by Opteron View Post
    No I know that if you run something that is not trusted on your computer, you could be susceptible to any virus or malware. But take a web server for example, if its properly patched and designed, it should be programmed to ignore unauthorized instructions barring that someone does not guess a password. The thing is that people exploit human errors and design flaws in the system to take it over, like say buffer overflow which can rewrite code instructions.
    Usually viruses exploit vulnerabilities in the OS, before a web server app could know about it. I think they do things like send a message that Windows incorrectly interprets as a Remote Desktop or Messenger command to download some nasty file that starts it all off. Granted these can be turned off by sys admin, but some services can't because they're essential for Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    make it a closed system, and then control physical access.
    They do, with routers, switches, hardware firewalls, etc. But if they have to allow legitimate traffic, then there has to be a physical path (hard wire or wireless) and in theory that can be exploited. The only way to be totally sure is to remove the physical path altogether so that it stays a closed system.

  4. #44
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    Re: Powerful 'Flame' cyber weapon found in Iran

    I'm not a tech expert, but does anybody know why everyone is insisting this is probably the work of a government instead of a private group of hackers? I know groups like Anonymous haven't done anything nearly this complex in the past, but they usually seem to be a step ahead of the government, and at the very least not a step behind. Does anyone have the knowledge to explain why history suggests governments are more responsible for massive viruses like this.

    My first inclination here is that this could be another sign of the fall of nation-states as the undisputed primary hubs of power in the world. Pure manpower is meaning less and less over time. The first sign of this is that it took a private laboratory to discover the virus (well, I guess I'm assuming a government didn't discover it and stay quiet for whatever reason). Kaspersky is not only not part of a government, its not even from the area most exposed by the virus.

    These are still only the first baby steps into the new era of the internet. We won't be able to think about this in the terms of the past few centuries. Culture, economics, and politics stand to be radically changed in ways impossible for us to foresee and even understand (at least any time soon).

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