The World’s Most Dangerous Software

At what point does a cyber-attack become an act of war?

My question is prompted by this week’s news that a highly sophisticated malware program called Mask has spent the last six years stealing valuable intelligence from supposedly secure government and diplomatic computers around the world.

Researchers are certain that Mask itself was produced by a government. Intrusions by one country into the networks of another have become so common that it’s reasonable to wonder whether all this cyberwarfare is warfare. The time to think about this is now, when these battles are still in their adolescence. Because how we fire back will depend in part on whether we think we’re at war.

Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, which discovered Mask, calls it more sophisticated than Flame, previously considered the gold standard in cyber-espionage. (All the world believes that the U.S. and Israel jointly developed Flame, along with its earlier cousins Stuxnet and Duqu, in order to attack the Iranian nuclear program, and perhaps other Middle Eastern targets as well.) Mask, like Flame, is principally a surveillance program. It steals files and keystrokes and encryption keys, and it was designed to operate for a long time undetected.

via The World’s Most Dangerous Software – Bloomberg.

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Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare | www.jlcw.org The Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare provides a public peer-reviewed law publication to foster open discussion and education of technology, government and legal stakeholder in relation to the complex issue of cyber warfare.  Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare accepts articles written by military, technology, judges, government officials, academic and legal practitioners.  The Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare provides a public peer-reviewed law publication to foster open discussion and education of technology, government and legal stakeholder in relation to the complex issue of cyber warfare.  Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare accepts articles written by military, technology, judges, government officials, academic and legal practitioners. The Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare is honored by the world class caliber editorial board that is involved with the Journal. Thought leaders from forensics, law, warfare, and cyber security are on the Board. The Journal is always looking for interested thought leaders who believe they can contribute in a meaningful fashion to the development of cyber warfare scholarship.