Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cyber Space and its Invisible War

In the U.S. and all over the world, we are Internet dependent more and more. Now we are in an inviable war where cyber attacks are carried out by planting deadly viruses, inflicting denial of service attacks, hacking into websites, snooping into e-mails, stealing confidential scientific and strategic data and posting malicious mails and propaganda. Cyber crooks are not only 12 years anymore. Many threats come from nation states, terrorist networks, organizational criminal groups, and adult individuals.

The U.S. military's now has what is know as the “Cyber Command”, responsible protecting military computer networks from cyber attacks. The is well and good for the military but the nation as a whole. The financial systems, power grids, telecommunications, water supplies, and flight controls are all online making them vulnerable to countless attacks by cyber criminals as well.

Stuxnet should make all us take notice. It was a windows virus uniquely programmed to attack Iran's nuclear facility. It was designed to disable specific control systems running Iranian centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, causing some of them to spin out of control. It also covered its tracks by fooling operators into believing that the equipment was working as usual. Stuxnet was designed to proliferate aggressively. And it went unnoticed for so long because it was able to exploit four previously unknown flaws in the Windows OS. Stuxnet was as effective as a military strike, but without loss of life or risk of full-blown war. On Aug. 2010, Microsoft issued an emergency update (MS10-061 update) to patch the bug that Stuxnet was then known to exploit in Windows shortcuts.

Even with that revelation our most critical infrastructures are still remain unprotected. Power, oil, gas and water are all open hostile infiltration and nothing is really being done about it. In my view this is as great a threat as nuclear warfare.


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