0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Kaspersky Lab, the Russian security firm that has garnered headlines with its research into Stuxnet, Flame, Duqu, Gauss, and other sophisticated malware, says it is working on a new operating system designed specifically to shield against attacks by cyber-weapons.The as-yet unnamed OS – internally it's known only as "11.11" because the project was launched on November 11 – is intended to protect industrial control systems (ICS) of the type used in manufacturing and infrastructure from attacks like the one that sabotaged Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010.In a blog post on Tuesday, the ebullient Eugene Kaspersky, chair and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, compares his company's efforts to those of John McClane, the hero policeman played by Bruce Willis in the Die Hard films."Alas, John McClane isn't around to solve the problem of vulnerable industrial systems, and even if he were – his usual methods of choice wouldn't work," Kaspersky writes. "So it comes down to KL to save the world, naturally!"He's only half joking. A paper describing Kaspersky Lab's new OS explains that the types of ICS it aims to protect include those used to operate power stations, reservoirs, electricity grids, pipelines, transportation systems, and telecommunications networks. Should any of these fail due to cyber-attacks, the paper suggests, "chaos and catastrophe could well follow."According to Kaspersky, the problem is that historically, neither the developers of ICS nor the companies and governments that have implemented them have paid enough attention to security. Most have relied on the fact that information about how their systems operate is not widely available ("security through obscurity") and that their ICS networks are not directly connected to the public internet ("air gap"). But as Kaspersky points out, neither of these protections was sufficient to block the Stuxnet attack in Iran.