The following is an excerpt from John R. Quain | August 21, 2012 | foxnews.com |
As it defends our interests and technology in the escalating global cyberwar underway, could the U.S. government be inadvertently handing cyberweapons to criminals?
Last week revealed a hint that such a nightmare situation may have taken one step closer to reality. Security firm Kaspersky revealed that a sophisticated program had been used to record instant messaging and social networking logins and bank account information and passwords — including targets such as Citibank and PayPal accounts — on some 2,500 infected PCs.
It may have been based on the Stuxnet cyberweapon widely attributed to the U.S.
Dubbed Gauss, this program’s financial focus raised alarms: Rather than trying to disrupt nuclear lab equipment or steal cruise missile plans it seemed devised for monetary gain, the very goal of cybercriminals worldwide.
“There’s no doubt in our mind that the authors [of Gauss] needed to have access to that [Stuxnet] source code to create this malware,” Roel Schouwenberg, senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab, told FoxNews.com. “Therefore, we’re convinced this is coming from the same factory which created Stuxnet.”
“The only alternative is that the source code has been leaked or stolen, which is an extremely scary scenario.”
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