Cybercriminals Harnessing Power Of The Internet With “Zero-Day Exploits”
Bindiya Thomas
11:48 AM, January 30, 2014
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Cybercriminals Harnessing Power Of The Internet With “Zero-Day Exploits”. Representational Image.
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With the onset of virtual currency and three-dimensional printing, cyber attacks are likely to grow with intensity.

According to the latest research reports, hackers are growing more sophisticated in terms of discovering vulnerabilities in a country or establishment’s infrastructure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week announced an initiative calling on tech giants and allies in the west to collaborate on anti-cyber hacking measures. He also vowed to relax export restrictions normally placed on security-related technologies so Israeli cyber defence companies can sell their expertise around the globe.

"We are taking a gamble," Netanyahu acknowledged at a cyber technology conference on Monday. "Entailing some risks, but willing to do so to get much bigger gain."

In 2012, Israel established a national cyber bureau to co-ordinate defence against attacks on the country's infrastructures and networks.

In the last few years, the number of Israeli cyber defence companies has ballooned from a few dozen to more than 200, accounting for 5% to 10% of the global cyber security industry, said Eviatar Matania, head of Israel's national cyber bureau.

This week, IBM and Lockheed Martin announced new cyber research projects in Israel, and Deutsche Telekom and EMC have also established research centres in the country.

Israel's national cyber bureau said it is currently formulating rules on what cyber technologies cannot be exported. Rami Efrati of the bureau said those regulations would be completed within six months.

In 2013, the US financial industry “faced wide-scale network denial-of-service attacks that became increasingly difficult and costly to mitigate,” according to the U.S.

government’s annual assessment of global threats.

The GAO says next-generation technologies carry photos and other data-heavy packages such as building blueprints and maps to help emergency responders do their jobs, thus rendering itself vulnerable to cyber attacks.

It also noted that the Next-Generation 911(NG 911) technology that local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) are installing in towns and cities across the nation relies heavily on IP and cloud-based technologies to handle emergency calls from the public.

Meanwhile, scientists from the University of Michigan have created a mathematical model to help hackers calculate the optimal moment to launch a cyber attack against a victim and inflict the most damage.

The scientists claim that many nations are accumulating stockpiles of flaws in computer systems that have gone undiscovered by anyone and are kept aside until they are required. This is commonly known “zero-day exploits”.

“New vulnerabilities in computer systems are constantly being discovered. When an individual, group, or nation has access to means of exploiting such vulnerabilities in a rival’s computer systems, it faces a decision of whether to exploit its capacity immediately or wait for a more propitious time,” says the paper.

On Thursday, Cisco issued a report identifying increased complexity of threats and solutions due to rapid growth in intelligent mobile device adoption and explained that cloud computing would continue to provide a greater attack surface than ever before.

New classes of devices and new infrastructure architectures offer attackers opportunities to exploit unanticipated weaknesses and inadequately defended assets, the report added.

It further explained that cybercriminals have learned that harnessing the power of Internet infrastructure yields far more benefits than simply gaining access to individual computers or devices.

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