Category Archives: digital terrorism

National Air Traffic Control System Possibly Vulnerable to Hackers

Source: NPR

The current radar-based air traffic control system will eventually be replaced with a new system called NextGen, which will rely on GPS. A number of computer security experts are concerned that NextGen is insecure and vulnerable to hackers.

The Federal Aviation Administration is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar upgrade of the nation’s air traffic control system. The new system is called the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen. It will be highly automated. It will rely on GPS instead of radar to locate planes, and it is designed to allow air traffic controllers and pilots to pack more planes, helicopters and eventually drones into our skies.

But a number of computer security experts are concerned that the cornerstone of NextGen is insecure and vulnerable to hackers. [More…]

New Trojan Virus Contains Uncrackable Encryption

Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab are looking to the cryptography community for help in deciphering the Gauss trojan. Despite their best efforts, the researchers have so far been unable to crack an encrypted payload in the trojan’s “Godel” module; they hope that members of the cryptology and mathematics communities will be able to extract the hidden payload.

The Gauss trojan spreads via USB drives and infects systems using the well-known LNK exploit. These infected drives include two files – “System32.dat” and “System32.bin” – which are 32- and 64-bit versions of the same code which includes several encrypted sections. Once executed, the trojan first gathers information about the victim’s system including running processes, drives and network shares, and save them to another file on the drive named “.thumbs.db”, after which other modules are launched. [More…]

Hackers and Digital Terrorism – Live Free or Die Hard (Movie)

The FBI responds to a brief computer outage at their Cyber-Security Division by tracing down top computer hackers, finding several of them have been killed. Taking others into protective custody, the FBI orders NYPD detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) to collect Matthew “Matt” Farrell (Justin Long). McClane arrives in time to prevent Farrell from being killed by an assassin, Mai Linh (Maggie Q), working for Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant). On route to Washington DC, Farrell explains he had written a portion of security code for a large sum of money from Mai.
As they arrive in DC, Gabriel orders his own crew of hackers to take control of the transportation grids and stock market, while nationally broadcasting a message threatening the United States. Farrell recognizes this as the start of a “fire sale”, an attack designed to target the nation’s reliance on computer controls, such that “everything must go”. [source]