Kaspersky Labs builds new OS to combat Stuxnet, major exploits

Kaspersky Labs builds new OS to combat Stuxnet, major exploits

Summary: Ending the rumor mill, Kaspersky Labs has confirmed plans to create a new operating system to combat major industrial exploits.

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TOPICS: Security
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The world is connected -- through the Internet, smart grids, mobile technology, communication platforms and central power systems. Recognizing this means that you also have to recognize that with each connection and additional layer, security becomes more important -- and systems driven by networking may be more vulnerable.

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Businesses are often the target of cyberattacks due to the illict fame of success, or the payoffs that can result from breaching the security of national systems, whether achieved through hacktivist groups, individuals or countries. 

Recognizing this, security firm Kaspersky Labs is committed to building a new kind of operation system in the hopes of defending against major industrial exploits and attacks.

It won't be an operating system like Windows or Mac, but will work as an "additional security layer" that runs on top of an original OS -- monitoring healthy systems and isolating threats including malware. Eugene Kapersky writes:

"Our system is highly tailored, developed for solving a specific narrow task, and not intended for playing Half-Life on, editing your vacation videos, or blathering on social media.

We're working on methods of writing software which by design won’t be able to carry out any behind-the-scenes, undeclared activity. This is the important bit: the impossibility of executing third-party code, or of breaking into the system or running unauthorized applications on our OS; and this is both provable and testable."

The operating system will be tailored for industrial use. Kapersky mentions nuclear power stations, energy supply, transportation control facilities, financial and telecommunications systems as infrastructures which must be protected -- to stop malware from disrupting energy allocation, phone networks or stealing sensitive information.

The difference between industrial and personal systems is that industrial projects must be kept operational at all costs -- you cannot simply turn off and reboot a sewage system, for example.

In recent years, supposedly state-sponsored cyberattacks including Stuxnet and Flame makes security even more crucial -- and even though Kapersky has not released many specific details, it does mean that crucial services and systems may have a more secure future.

Topic: Security

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7 comments
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  • Interesting...

    But wasn't all the hype about a decade ago which everyone was pointing to Linux to save the day for the commercial world? It baffles me dearly why commercials business did not move onto open source and Linux. I realize that it would be costly. And some nearly impossible since proprietary software and drivers is not available in anything but Windows. But in order to weed of the Windows fixation, it only takes baby steps!

    I personally wouldn't trust an anti-virus company to offer an OS to protect my shtuff! After all, we know that a majority of them got rich and famous... not from their anti-virus protection tactics and software algorithms... It's been questioned for many years that it is in their best interest to see virus create havoc! If you are completely protected, then their business fails! Think about it!
    SpankyFrost
    • You Answered Your Own Question

      Q: why commercials business did not move onto open source and Linux?.
      A: it would be costly. And some nearly impossible since proprietary software and drivers is not available in anything but Windows.

      Don't be baffled.

      If you use an AV product, and you are completely protected, then the AV producer succeeds.
      bb_apptix
    • Shacky logic

      I seem to recall that was the premise of a Sandra Bullock movie. However, you could say the same thing about the relationship between Law Enforcement and criminals. Without criminals LE would be unemployed.

      We know the bad guys are out there and companies like Kapersky, etc have incorporated to fill the demand for security. Nothing wrong with earning a living while fighting the good fight. Bully for them!
      MajorlyCool
  • I don't know...

    How do we know the Russian government won't force Kaspersky Lab to put a back door in it? Will the source code be vetted by the FOSS community?

    I'm sorry, but I don't trust any source that could be unduly influenced by the host country; I don't even trust the US, or Microsoft. I'd trust a company that regularly thumbs their nose at any country. Emisoft is in the news doing things like that all the time. Too bad they haven't pushed an idea such as this.
    JCitizen
    • .. really ??

      Don't trust governments or existing major industry players?

      That's too bad; Whilst I'm no expert on security, software development or AV, I don't believe that any source could risk the negative damage that would come down on them should they release software with such a back door. My understanding is that most (if not all) security related software that is released is heavily inspected and dissected by other players in the industry. If such a back door was found, the impact on said business releasing such software would be severe and could potentially put them to the wall.

      You need to have some faith in the major industry players.

      Or perhaps you're hoping that WikiLeaks will release its own AV/Security package ?
      CameronY
  • Sounds like a plan

    Now the AV is going to be scanning everything up from bios, to boot, to session. Gonna be tougha to hack, but might also add more significant lag to performance.

    Definitely not suitable for the average consumer, more for businesses only; Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Firewall Control are all that I need for security, the rest is self awareness of online security.
    MrElectrifyer
  • Rubbish pie the sky

    sounds good but going no where fast
    thefinisher