The new threat in cyber attacks...


Passing through
...and this time, it's personal.

I'm looking at you, USB stick!

Stuxnet spyware targets industrial facilities, via USB memory stick

Beware the USB memory stick. Infected sticks are the means by which a mystery spyware, dubbed Stuxnet, is penetrating control systems of industrial facilities and utilities around the globe, say cybersecurity experts.

A USB memory stick is the preferred delivery vehicle for the Stuxnet spyware worm, which has launched a sophisticated attack on industrial computer systems worldwide.
By Mark Clayton, Staff writer
posted July 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm EDT

Cyberspies have launched the first publicly known global attack aimed at infiltrating hard-to-penetrate computer control systems used to manage factory robots, refineries, and the electric power grid.

The ultrasophisticated attack was discovered last week, but information about it
The idea itself isn't new, it's just that it hasn't been common for awhile.

Back in the old days, when computers weren't hooked up to the Internet, the majority of viruses spread by floppy disk. Many of them had boot sector viruses, which they'd write into memory and the hard disk, and spread to any other floppies that were inserted into the system.

After people started connecting to the Internet, though, this kind of virus was largely forgotten about, as floppies faded into obscurity and non-writable optical media became the standard for data distribution. USB sticks have just reopened an old hole that was inadvertently closed by the trends of the times, and just as inadvertently reopened by them.
That's scary stuff