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What is a Cyber-weapon

Thinky things on cyber weapons

Dave Aitel

on 29 February 2012

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Transcript of What is a Cyber-weapon

Example Cyber-weapons
CyberWeapon Basics
Your basic "Information Security Triad"
How do these convert to an attacker's perspective?
Distinguishing marks and features
Michael Hayden would call this "Changing the terrain in cyberspace"....but we won't.

When people think of terrain too often they think only of Access
Distributed infrastructure
Trained (i.e. expensive) team of operators
Data visualization components
Global, generic, scope
What Cyberweapons are not
Nor any particular exploit, no matter how reliable
situational awareness
focusing on the "data of the unexpected"
Defined more by "an organization" than "a technology"
Regulations are hard because each cyber weapon is very different.

Previous attempts have essentially failed.

Attacking the finances appears to have the most effect.
"A more useful definition of cyber war is, hostile actions in cyberspace that have effects that amplify or are equivalent to major kinetic violence."

Magic black box that generates SHA-1 hash collisions. The weapon is the thing you build on that.
i.e. computers are useful for building cyberweapons and there's less than 5 of them in the world, as correctly predicted.
more to do with attack surfaces than attacks
Example Cyberweapon

- client-sides that install a quick trojan
- trojan looks for Dreamweaver passwords
- Automatically logs in, installs PHP file that injects IFRAME into all HTML pages
- Redirect any users to client-side server
- Goto step 1
Definately not this
Nor This
Attacks copyright directly
Indirectly attacks particular industries
Can people read my email?
Can people modify my files?
Can I serve pictures of cats to my customers?
Destroy Deny Degrade
Access, analyse, remove, offer
Original goal was
also analysis
The classic Offer Cyberweapon
Imaginary Cyber Weapons
Not a good definition! Kinetic in what space?
What is a cyberweapon?
A gun and a tank are two very different things.
But a cyberweapon is different in another way...
Attacking the distributed infrastructure is the likely path against a well funded attacker.
Conclusions and Insinuations!
Full transcript