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CBS News' 60 Minutes covers Stuxnet
Cybercrime to cyberwarfare: from low-level criminals to high-levels of state attacking countries, government targets, and their critical national infrastructure.
CBS News "60 Minutes" detailed how the Stuxnet cyberweapon was used, and how may have been behind the cyberattack. Many pointed fingers at the U.S. working with Israel, but even to this day it remains unclear who was behind the cyberattack.
Stuxnet, one of the most famous of all cyberweapons, specifically targeted Iran's nuclear facility, among other high value plants. In attacking the facility's networks, it caused a mini-meltdown at the unit that resulted in physical damage to the nuclear centrifuges, setting the program back by many months if not years.
See you later, SOPA. Oh wait, hello CISPA
Only a few months after SOPA was defeated by the collective protest power of the Web, in spite of the White House threatening to veto such a bill should it pass across Obama's desk, the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) came along and threatened to do just as much -- if not more damage than SOPA and PIPA would have done.
With support from major U.S. technology firms, such as Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Intel -- and so on -- the bill would allow the U.S. government to remove legal barriers that currently prevent companies, though exempt from the Fourth Amendment, from handing data to the government in order to share intelligence easily across the various intelligence and law enforcement agencies, without the need for a warrant. In spite of it being a "cybersecurity" tool in the global war on terrorism and online crime, the term is not actually defined in the bill.
Later in the year, though CISPA is still under review and yet to become law, President Obama signed a classified directive that would allow federal agencies to react accordingly -- including "offensive" action -- against those who breach networks, dish out cyberattacks and hack networks.
Flashback, the first major Mac attack
The Flashback Trojan was the latest malware to hit Apple Mac machines running OS X. It ultimately led to Apple removing the "virus-free" slogan from its Web site and marketing strategy after the highly publicized malware attack. More than 600,000 Macs were understood to have been infected by unknowingly installing the Adobe Flash-lookalike software.
The malware was designed to pilfer user passwords and other data through the Web browser and other applications, such as Skype. Perhaps more worryingly, some users may find that the rogue software installs itself automatically without any user intervention at all.
It was bound to happen; five years ago there was practically no malware for the Mac platform due to its all-but non-existent market share. As the Mac becomes more popular, it is increasingly becoming a target for hackers and data thieves.