ANATOMY OF MALICE
By Manuel Cereijo
One moment one is working on an email to an important official. The next, the PC has been converted into an expensive paperweight, paralyzed by a piece of malicious software. From New York to Miami, this scenario is all too familiar. Even more, computers are being attacked by software that enables remote intruders to gain access or enlist computers as hapless foot soldiers in an information war. Where these attacks could be coming from? Bejucal Electronic Base, Cuba.
The perils of such enlistment hit the headlines in November 2000 when sites like eBay and CNN were brought low by a battalion of 75 computers flooding targets with junk data and blocking access by legitimate users. But autonomous, self replicating software could create not a battalion, but an army, and wreak havoc on the communal infrastructure of the Internet. Where these attacks could be coming from? Bejucal Electronic Base, Cuba.
Attacks on the security of a computer system or network are best characterized by viewing the function of the computer system as providing information. In general, there is a flow of information from a source, such as a file or a region of main memory, to a destination, such as another file or a user. There are four general categories of attack:
· Interruption: An asset of the system is destroyed or becomes unavailable or unusuable. Examples include destruction of a piece of hardware, the cutting of a communication line.
· Interception: An unauthorized party gains access to an asset. The unauthorized party could be a person, a program, or a computer.Examples include wiretapping to capture data in a network, and the unauthorized copying of files or programs.
· Modification: An unauthorized party not only gains access to but tampers with an asset. Examples include changing values in a data file, altering a program so that it performs differently, and modifying the content of messages being transmitted in a network.
· Fabrication: An unauthorized party inserts counterfeit objects into the system Examples include the insertion of spurious messages in a network or the addition of records to a file.
Where could these security attacks come from? Bejucal Electronic Base, Cuba The allure and the danger of high power microwave weapons are both very real. HPMs generate generate an intense “blast” of electromagnetic waves in the microwave frequency band that is strong enough to overload electrical circuitry. Metallic conductors, like those found in semiconductors, bipolar devices, strongly absorb them, which in turn heats the material. Circuitry melts. Such a weapon can shut down telecommunications networks, disrupt power supplies, fry countless computers and electronic gadgets, yet still leave buildings, bridges, and highways intact. It would leave behind no trace of where it came from. Where these weapons can be developed among several sites? Bejucal Electronic Base, Cuba.
For anyone worried about viruses, worms, and network security, perhaps the best advice is Know Thy Enemy. And who is Thy Enemy? There are several rogue countries, but the closest one, and a very real threat indeed: Cuba.