World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cyberweapon

Article Id: WHEBN0037856743
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cyberweapon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Weapon, Artillery, War, DNS analytics, Weapons
Collection: Cyberwarfare, Types of Malware, Weapons
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Cyberweapon

A cyberweapon is a malware agent employed for military, paramilitary, or intelligence objectives.

Contents

  • General characteristics 1
    • Sponsor 1.1
    • Objectives 1.2
    • Target 1.3
    • Distinctions from Viruses and Other Malware 1.4
  • Probable Cyberweapons 2
    • Weaponized malware 2.1
    • Malware mistaken for cyberweapons 2.2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

General characteristics

Requirements for the term vary widely; the most common criteria seem to be for a malware agent which:

Part of the distinction from other malware is that the agent is sponsored—that is, Is commissioned, developed, and/or actually used—not by a state or a non-state actor, the latter potentially including terrorist groups and other entities proposed in 4GW doctrines.

Objectives

A cyberweapon performs an action which would normally require a soldier or spy, and which would be considered either illegal or an act of war if performed directly by a human agent of the sponsor during peacetime. Legal issues include violating the privacy of the target and the sovereignty of its host nation. Such actions include (but are not limited to):

  • Surveillance of the system or its operators, including sensitive information, such as passwords and private keys
  • Theft of data or intellectual property, such as:
  • Destruction of one or more of the following:
    • Data or executable code (programs) on the system, or other connected systems
    • Less frequently, damage to or destruction of computer hardware
    • In the most extreme case, damage to an electromechanical or process control system such that a serious industrial accident results in loss of life or property beyond the system, or major economic damages.

While a cyberweapon almost certainly results in either direct or indirect financial damages to the target group, direct financial gains for the sponsor (such as the transfer of funds) are not a primary objective of this class of agent.

Target

Unlike malware used by organized crime for the theft of personal or financial information demonstrates lower selectivity and wider distribution.

Distinctions from Viruses and Other Malware

Note that self-replication is not a requirement; as such, not all cyberweapons are viruses (and not all viruses are necessarily cyberweapons). Without this capability, however, an alternate vector is required to get the agent onto the target system(s). Likewise, compromised access alone, such as that provided by a rootkit, is not diagnostic of the employment of a cyberweapon.

While the term is frequently used by the press (examples [1][2]), some articles avoid it, instead using terms like "Internet weapon" or simply "weapon" (example, though note the URL[3]), mainstream researchers debate the requirements of the term while still referring to the employment of the agent as a "weapon",[4] and the software development community in particular uses the term more rarely.

Probable Cyberweapons

The following malware agents generally meet the criteria above, have been formally referred to in this manner by industry security experts, or have been described this way in government or military statements.

Weaponized malware

The following malware agents are known not to have been developed or initially deployed as cyberweapons, but have since been used to meet military or intelligence objectives.

Malware mistaken for cyberweapons

The following malware agents do not meet the criteria above, or are known not to have been developed or deployed specifically as cyberweapons, but have been frequently misidentified as such in the popular press.

  • (section pending)

References

  1. ^ "Powerful 'Flame' Cyberweapon Torching Mideast Computers : Discovery News". News.discovery.com. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  2. ^ "Infosecurity – 2012: The Year Malware Went Nuclear". Infosecurity-magazine.com. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  3. ^ Perlroth, Nicole (2012-05-28). "Virus Infects Computers Across Middle East - NYTimes.com". Iran: Bits.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  4. ^ "Infosecurity – Kaspersky looks at the wreckage of Wiper malware". Infosecurity-magazine.com. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 

External links

Articles
  • Stefano Mele, Jun 2013, Cyber-Weapons: Legal and Strategic Aspects (version 2.0)
  • Stefano Mele, 30 September 2010, Cyberwarfare and its damaging effects on citizens
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.