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Malicious Code as Weapon

Malicious Code as Weapon

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Malicious Code as Weapon

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  1. Malicious Code as Weapon

  2. Reading • Required: • Government-built malware and cyber weapons will run out of control, http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/22677/malware/government-built-malware-cyber-weapons-will-run-control.html • Recommended: • Ukrainian computer systems attacked by sophisticated malware with "Russian roots,” Homeland Security News Wire, March 10, 2014, http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20140310-ukrainian-computer-systems-attacked-by-sophisticated-malware-with-russian-roots • NSA planted sleeper malware in 50,000 computer networks, Homeland Security News Wire, Dec. 11, 2013, http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20131211-nsa-planted-sleeper-malware-in-50-000-computer-networks CSCE 522 - Farkas

  3. Information Warfare Offense Which of these offensive IW operations are impacted by malware? • Open sources • Psyops and perception management • Seizing the signals • Computer break-ins and hacking • Masquerade CSCE 522 - Farkas

  4. Aim of Malware • Multiple possibilities: • Unauthorized access • Unauthorized modification • Unavailability of resource for authorized users • False authorization • Fake non-repudiation CSCE 522 - Farkas

  5. State-level Activities • Disruption of the opponent’s services • All aspects of malware aims • Information gathering • Unauthorized disclosure and false authentication • Perception management • Data leakage, false information, psychological effects • … CSCE 522 - Farkas

  6. Cyber Warfare “Actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption” R.A. Clarke, Cyber War CSCE 522 - Farkas

  7. High-Valued Targets National Defense components Supporting industry Critical infrastructure Exploitation: individual system vulnerability + connectivity CSCE 522 - Farkas

  8. Societal Impact Safety of citizens Stability of government COL Thomas Goss, chief of the command’s Strategic Initiatives Group:“While technology plays an important role in the cyberspace domain, it is not technology that will win on the 21st century’s cyber battlefields […] Time after time, in operations and in exercises, it is the people that will make the difference.” CSCE 522 - Farkas

  9. USA Cyber Capabilities • 2009: President Obama • Declared America’s digital infrastructure to be a “strategic national asset” • 2010:  establishment of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) • defending American military networks • conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations CSCE 522 - Farkas

  10. Major Players • At least 140 countries are developing cyber weapons • USA • Russian Federation • People’s Republic of China • Others: Germany, India, Iran, South Korea, UK, etc. CSCE 522 - Farkas

  11. What is a Cyber Weapon? There is no formal and legal definition DoD The Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: no definition for cyber weapon Nonlethal weapon: “A weapon that is explicitly designed and primarily employed so as to incapacitate personnel or materiel, while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury to personnel, and undesired damage to property and the environment.” Also called NLW.Source: JP 3-28 CSCE 52”2 - Farkas

  12. Cyber Weapon • Stefano Mele, Italian Lawyer: “A cyber weapon is [an] appliance, device or any set of computer instructions designed to unlawfully damage a computer or telecommunications system having the nature of critical infrastructure, its information, data or programs contained therein or pertaining there to, or to facilitate the interruption, total or partial, or alteration of its operation.” • Other definition: “An appliance, device or any set of computer instructions designed to offend the person through cyberspace.” CSCE 522 - Farkas

  13. Impact of No Definition Impossible to distinguish a cyber weapon and its proper use Impossible to evaluate the legal and political responsibility of the aggressor and the real level of threat CSCE 522 - Farkas

  14. Development of Cyber Weapon • Cost effective • Origin of the attack not obvious • Easy to hide the development • Complements traditional military strikes: • Destroy enemy defense infrastructures • Probe the technological capabilities of the enemy CSCE 522 - Farkas

  15. IW Attacks against USA • Titan Rain (2003-on): form China • Target: US military intel • Sensitive military networks (Lockheed Martin and Sandia) infiltrated by hackers • Moonlight Maze (1998-2000): from Russia • Target: Military maps and schematics, U.S. troop configurations • Hacked computers at Pentagon, NASA, the Department of Energy and even from universities and research labs CSCE 522 - Farkas

  16. IW Attacks against USA • China's "750,000 American zombies“ (2007) • Target: U.S. computer networks, all levels • "The Most Serious Breach“ (2007) from ? • Target: U.S. military computer network • A corrupt flash drive. Inserted into a military laptop CSCE 522 - Farkas

  17. IW Attacks against Russia • The Original Logic Bomb (1982): From USA • Target: Siberian gas pipeline in Soviet Russia • CIA’s "logic bomb" caused a Soviet gas pipeline in Siberia to explode CSCE 522 - Farkas

  18. IW Attacks against Estonia • The Estonian Cyberwar (2007), The Nashi, a pro-Kremlin youth group in Transnistria • Target: Estonia • Took down key government websites, news sites and generally flooded the Estonian network to a point that it was useless • Other targets of Russia: Georgia, Azerbaijani CSCE 522 - Farkas

  19. IW Attack against Iran • Stuxnet (2010): suspected from USA, Israel • Target: nuclear facility in Natan • Destroyed nuclear centrifuges and threw back the Iranian atomic program by 2 years CSCE 522 - Farkas

  20. Warfare or Espionage • Motivation for “warfare” • National attention • Additional defense funding • Justify government control of cyber space CSCE 522 - Farkas

  21. New Use of Malware • Espionage – old story • DOS attacks using spyware • Application-level vulnerability combined with malware exploitation • E.g., SQL Injection (gain control)  malware (run functions to exhaust resources) CSCE 522 - Farkas

  22. Malware DOS Attacks Buffer overflows Raise unexpected exceptions Create race conditions SQL Injection  recursive CPU-intensive queries Overly-complex regular expressions within search queries Excessively large files uploaded to the server Etc. CSCE 522 - Farkas

  23. How about Twitter? • Is it only a “tool of the self-absorbed”? • Real time reporting service • 2008: Mumbai terrorist attack • 2009: Iranian protest against President Ahmadinejad’s reelection • Distribute attack information • Link to attack tools • Link to target identity CSCE 522 - Farkas

  24. Twitter as Perception Management • 2009: Israeli military attack on the Gaza • Large number of civilian casualties • International criticism of Israel • Israeli Air Force counteractions on YouTube and Twitter: • Showed Hamas using civilians as cover • Downloaded sensor imagery onto YouTube • Tweets warned of rocket attacks • 'help-us-win.com' blog was used to gain public support • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/online/twitter-is-a-weapon-in-cyber-warfare-1900535.html CSCE 522 - Farkas

  25. Twitter Tunisian Revolution • 2010-2011: Tunisian revolution (Jasmine Revolution) • Intensive campaign of civil resistance • Ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 What are the positive and negative aspects of social media wrt. Social movements? CSCE 522 - Farkas

  26. Next Class Computer Break-ins CSCE 522 - Farkas