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Researchers say Stuxnet was deployed against Iran in 2007

Researchers at Symantec Corp. have discovered a computer virus Stuxnet version used for the nuclear program of Iran to attack in November 2007, two...


Researchers say Stuxnet was deployed against Iran in 2007
Researchers at Symantec Corp.

have discovered a computer virus Stuxnet version used for the nuclear program of Iran to attack in November 2007, two years earlier than previously thought.

Stuxnet, which is widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, was discovered in 2010 after being used for a reprocessing uranium to attack Natanz, Iran. It was the first known example of the public that a virus is used to industrial machinery to attack.

Symantec researchers said Tuesday it is a piece of code, which they called “Stuxnet 0.5,” among the thousands of versions of the virus was discovered, she recovered from infected computers.

They found evidence Stuxnet 0.5 has been in development since 2005, when Iran is still setting up the uranium enrichment plant and the virus was deployed in 2007, the same year the Natanz plant went online.

“It’s really great that they thought such a project in 2005 to create,” Symantec researcher Liam O’Murchu told Reuters.

security experts who have examined

Symantec 18-page report on Stuxnet 0.5 has said he showed the cyber weapon was powerful enough to paralyze the production of fuels at Natanz where six years ago.

“This attack was the centrifuges have been damaged as a number without destroying the operator of the facility would be suspicious,” said a report by the Institute for Science and International Security, which is headed by former weapons inspector David Albright of the United Nations and closely monitors Iran’s nuclear program.


Although he did not know what damage Stuxnet could have caused 0.5, Symantec said it was designed to Natanz to attack by opening and closing valves hexafluoride gas supply of uranium in centrifuges, without the knowledge of the operators of the facility.

Earlier versions

decompose Stuxnet are believed to have been used for the enrichment process to sabotage by changing the speed of the gas centrifuges spinning the knowledge of their operators.

“The report provides evidence more concrete than the United States is the activity of trying to Iran’s nuclear program that derail it was revived in the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” said John Bumgarner, an expert in cyber weapons that works as chief technology officer of the Cyber ​​Consequences Unit United States.

The Natanz was the subject of scrutiny by the United States, Israel and their allies, who accuse Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb.

The United States began a complex cyber weapon built during the administration of George W. Bush to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, U.S. officials familiar with the program told Reuters. The government has refused to comment on reports and investigations into the leak of the computer programs.

Since the discovery of Stuxnet

in 2010, security researchers have a handful of other pieces of advanced computer code discovered, according to them, were developed in tandem for espionage and war. These include flame Duqu and Gauss.


Stuxnet was written using much of the same code as the flame according to the Symantec report, which was published at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, an event attended by more than 20,000 security professionals.

Symantec said it is now four versions of Stuxnet discovered and there are probably others that have not been discovered. Researchers at Symantec and elsewhere still trying to get the full extent of the ability of the virus to understand.

“The number of filling holes,” said O’Murchu.

He said investigators found no evidence to prove who was behind Stuxnet.

later versions of Stuxnet, that industrial control software known as Step 7 from Siemens AG treats, more advanced methods used to infect computer systems, he said.

Siemens said previously connected security holes that allowed Stuxnet breached its software. A spokesman did not comment on the latest research from Symantec.

Analysis: The near impossible battle against hackers everywhere


Analysis: The near impossible battle against hackers everywhere
Warnings tell

Washington a “cyber Pearl atmosphere” consider a surprise attack from a formidable enemy that the power of the financial system of the country to disable or cripple the U.S. government could destroy.

But those on the front lines say it all not to government agencies and corporate networks to protect against a sudden attack. They say many infringements push both perhaps dozens of countries, as well as well-funded guerrillas and criminals qualified electronic.

security officers and consultants say they are overwhelmed. The attacks are not only China that Washington has long been accused of spying on U.S. companies, many come from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Western countries. The authors of elite military units organized criminal networks in adolescents militants.

“They spend more than us and they Outman in almost every way,” said an officer of Dell Inc. Chief Security Officer, John McClurg. “I can not remember in my life ‘adult, a difficult time.”

The big fear is that one day, a large corporation or a government agency will be a serious disturbance and very costly to their business to make when hackers to steal data or damage critical infrastructure sabotage or destroy consumer confidence in the safety of their data.

Elite security Mandiant Corp. Monday gave a 74-page report that a unit of Chinese soldiers steal data from more than 100 companies accused. While China was immediately denied these accusations, safety experts and others say Mandiant the hacker group is just one of more than 20 with origins in China.

Chinese pirates

tend to large companies and technology companies the most innovative thing using e-mails that appear to come from trusted colleagues focus, but bear attachments marred by viruses, spyware and other malicious software, according to researchers western cyber.

Eastern European crime rings, meanwhile, use “drive-by downloads” to undermine popular websites like NBC.com last week visitors to infect. Although malware can vary but often include software for recording keystrokes that computer users passwords for financial accounts.


in the game are activists in the style of loosely affiliated group known as Anonymous, who are in favor of denial of service attacks and temporarily block websites from view and automated searches for common vulnerabilities a way to access information from the company.

An increasing number of countries weapons programs computer and electronic espionage finance, law enforcement officials said. The alleged involvement of the United States in the production of electronic direction, including Stuxnet, that the Iranian program to enrich uranium to hurt, is considered one of the most successful.

Iran is also blamed for a series of extraordinarily effective denial of service attacks against major U.S. banks over the past six months that stopped their online banking sites. Iran is suspected of introducing at least one American oil company, two people familiar with the ongoing investigation told Reuters.

“There is a battle looming in every direction you look,” said Jeff Moss, chief information security ICANN, a group that is part of the critical infrastructure manages Internet.

‘personal goals Everybody goes to the door when it’s just fire after fire, “said Moss, who also advises the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

HUNDREDS unreported cases

Industry veterans say that the growth in the number of hackers, software tools at their disposal, and the part thriving underground economy to have any network connected to the Internet is impossible to perfectly defend.

“Your average engineer operational safety feels somewhat under fire, “said Bruce Murphy, director of Deloitte & Touche LLP, the study of labor safety.” It feels like Sisyphus rolling a stone on the hill and the hill keeps steeper. “

Three major U.S. newspapers, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Twitter and Microsoft Corp. have all admitted in February they had hacked. Inserted the malware on the computers of employees in technology has been detected in hundreds of other companies who have chosen to remain silent about the incident , two people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

ownership “I can not be a time when many companies were so clearly remember” “and were so unprepared,” says Adam O’Donnell, an officer of the company Security Sourcefire Inc., using slang for hackers access.

Instead of hype, cyber intrusion remain under-public â € leaks fear the attacks will spook investors?? head of the new attempt FBI cybercrime, Deputy Executive Director Richard McFeely said that the secret has become a major challenge.

“Our biggest problem at the moment is to the private sector to a level of comfort where they can report defects, malware, effects within their networks” said McFeely. ” It was very difficult with many large companies to get them to cooperate fully. “

McFeely said the FBI plans to open a deposit malware for sharing information between companies in the same sector to encourage. Obama also recently issued a decision on cybersecurity promotes cooperation.

former head of the National Security Agency, Michael Hayden, supports the use of commercial and diplomatic channels to put pressure on countries of piracy as early a White House strategy announced Wednesday new

“The Chinese, with some legitimacy, will say: “.. you spying on us as the former Director of the NSA, I will say:” Yes, and we are better than you, “said Hayden, now director of security within the Chertoff Group, consultant

He said what worries him, moreover, c .. is the Chinese presence on networks that do not value intelligence as systems that infrastructure such as power plants and water have “There is no intellectual property there to be stolen, not trade secrets, not negotiating positions. So that scares you, because it seems to be preparing attacks, “said Hayden.

middle of the growing fear, many top professionals in the field in San Francisco on Monday to meet the conference’s most famous American industry security, the name of the host company EMC Corp. and RSA unit.

Several experts said they were convinced that companies spend money on the wrong things, such as antivirus subscriptions can not detect new attacks or directed.

RSA executive chairman Art Coviello and Francis de Souza, director of products with high provider Symantec Corp., Both have said they will be speeches calling for a focus on more advanced analysis instruments seeking unusual behavior the network?? seems expensive.

a more fundamental approach to the limitation of computer privileges for users, installing software updates quickly, and allowing only trusted applications to function correctly.

Some security companies are zero with new models, such as forcing all programs to their customers to carry on the wall of virtual machines to stop.

With these perspectives, so much money at stake, and the problems both years, may only two points of agreement.

Most people in the industry and the government thinks that things will get worse. Coviello, for its part, has predicted that the first genre – but relatively easy -. virus removed all data on tens of thousands of PCs to the company of national oil of Saudi Arabia last year was a harbinger of things to come

And more

say that public attention on cybersecurity, even if it solves uncomfortable on the failure of the industry and stubborn opponents, will lead to a debate desperately need doing internationally and at home.

Einhorn case against Apple rests on unusual legal tactic


Einhorn case against Apple rests on unusual legal tactic

Hedge Fund Star of David Einhorn would force Apple Inc. to be a part of their huge cash reserves with investors to share, but his trial was based on a U.S. securities rule that there is little jurisprudence.

Einhorn Greenlight Capital sued the manufacturer of the iPad and the iPhone in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Thursday to try to get Apple to prevent the elimination of preference shares in the charter. The suit is part of the offer Einhorn pressure on Apple to be a part of its $ 137 billion in cash to be used for perpetual preferred shares to the existing shareholders that dividends payable to spend.

The Crown argued

Apple violated the Securities and Exchange Commission rules that prohibit companies from “clustering” of unrelated subjects in a proposal for a shareholder vote.

setting that Apple has violated the rules can be tricky. Little or no case law exists on the issue and own SEC rule is relatively little general guidance, legal experts said.

Still, James Cox, a professor at Duke University School of Law, Einhorn thinks “is a hell of a good deal.”

“I think the Apple in sight,” he added, saying it “seems to be a case quite dramatic consolidation.”

The hedge fund manager for a ban on a vote of the shareholders on 27 February to block the proposal, saying Apple violated Article 14 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. arguments must be heard U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan on 22 February. Apple until February 15 to file a response with the court.

proxy proposal, Proposition No. 2 is intended to amend the articles of the three Apple ways: by providing a majority of the directors, establishing a nominal value of stock of Apple and the elimination of the possibility to issue preference shares <. / P> Einhorn is represented by the firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & lawyers Feld, Greenlight prolonged outside counsel. No lawyer Apple is not the role of the judge and a representative would not tell what to represent in the case of Apple.

On Friday, the California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension fund and owns 2,700,000 shares of Apple, and the most influential proxy voting permanent ISS Proxy Advisory services repeatedly urged investors to vote in the benefit of the shareholder proposal in question.

“All shareholders should have the right to vote,” Anne Simpson, CalPERS Senior Portfolio Manager and Director of Corporate Governance said on CNBC. “We do not want the board to do a deal on the side with a hedge fund for fear of a lawsuit that the annual meeting will cancel.

” This is a major problem that must be carefully considered and We want the council to come to all shareholders and give them a chance to make their voices heard.

ISS, which makes recommendations on how shareholders should vote on the proposed proxy, usually believes the “clustering” of the proposals was not in the best interest of the shareholders, but supported the removal of the “blank check “preference shares because of their potential to be misused as a takeover defense.

“While many investors saw Apple cash as excessive and I wanted more of her return for shareholders to see, this view can not be universal: investors may prefer other money (or at least most of it) was used for investments and acquisitions, “said in a statement Friday.


It is not clear how Apple will respond to its official response to these lawsuits. On Thursday, Apple said Einhorn trial was incorrect and that the approval of Proposal No. 2 would not prevent the issuance of preference shares in the future.

“At this time, Apple statutes provide for the issuance of preferred shares” blank check “by the board of directors without shareholder approval,” said Apple. “If the proposal # 2 is adopted, our shareholders have the right to the issue of preference shares to approve.”

Einhorn, a famous short seller and the Apple gadget fan, said in an interview with CNBC now housed a “depression” mentality that led to the treasury cash and only invest in safer, lower interest rates.

Apple almost went bankrupt in the 1990s before Steve Jobs returned and created a sensational turnaround, with products like the iPhone and iPad has become a must for consumers around the world. Near-death experience, the company has led Apple to be particularly conservative with his money.


said in its complaint that two proposals support, but do not get rid of the preference shares. Judge Einhorn preference shares superior to dividends or share buybacks and a separate proposal for issuance of preference shares of Apple with a constant 4 percent dividend.

But Apple proxy proposal is structured, Greenlight said shareholders “no other choice than two votes in favor of an amendment that they oppose, or against an amendment they support.”

Few prosecutions

was never submitted proposals difficult in the rules, a situation that some legal experts normally attributed to the nature of passive shareholders.

“In most cases you will not have much to complain consolidation to get,” said Brian Slipakoff, special advisor to the firm Duane Morris in Philadelphia.

In a trial a few partners, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in 1999 approved an implicit claim of the shareholder litigation alleging violations of the anti-group.

This precedent would

Einhorn store in the legal status of the case to court. The decision of the Court of Appeal was quoted by Greenlight in court documents filed Thursday added.

Francis Vasquez, an attorney with the law firm White & Case is not involved in the case, said that Apple could argue that because shareholder proposals in the proposal are two changes to the charter, they are well connected.

The Californian company has five proposals for a vote which is not disputed by Einhorn and requires no modification of the Statutes of Apple. These measures focus on issues such as the election of directors and executive compensation.

“first argument Apple will probably be:” Look, these are all the amendments that we have in place, they do not have to deal with other things, “said Vasquez.

date anti-consolidation rules in 1992 . John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the idea was “to prevent corrupt directions shareholders with a sweetener to vote for a proposal they would otherwise reject. “

case Greenlight Capital LP, et al. V. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 13-900.