Stuxnet, Duqu, Nitro, and most recent one — Flamer — if you are getting foxed and wondering if these are names of some hi-fi, hi-tech gizmos, well, you are giving it a miss.
Precisely, these are names of concentrated, well-planned customized malware attacks, now nicknamed Shamoon attacks, that are now targeting the energy sector to render infected computers unusable by corrupting critical files.
This phenomenon is a recent one unlike earlier trends in attacks to gain access to critical information on computers. “Cyber-attacks today are a perfect example of fact following fiction. A few years ago, it was only in the movies that we saw sophisticated threats that could sabotage systems or potentially cause explosions,” says Shantanu Ghosh, VP & MD, India Product Operations.
“Two years since we first detected Stuxnet, we have seen many more cyber-attacks of similar sophistication — Duqu, Nitro and most recently, Flamer,” he adds.
In fact Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 17 focuses on how targeted and serious these attacks and advanced persistent threats (APT) would continue to be, only increasing in frequency and sophistication as well. In the long run, these techniques would make regular malware more dangerous and prove a dangerous security threat to critical infrastructure providers and to the economy in particular.
Some Interesting Facts
Globally during H1 2012, the total number of daily targeted attacks continued to increase at a minimum rate of 24% with an average of 151 targeted attacks being blocked each day during May and June. (Source: July 2012 Symantec Intelligence Report)
Globally, the defense industry has been the biggest target of cyber attacks in H1 2012, with an average of 7.3 attacks per day (Source: June 2012 Symantec Intelligence Report)