Feeds

Malware spread explains Pentagon USB ban

Agent infection hardly much of a battle

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Pentagon systems and computers in warzones in Iraq and Afghanistan reportedly came under a malware-based attack last month. The infection promoted a recent ban of the use of USB stick and other forms of removable storage by the US military and also talk of cyberwar, which fails to stack up under close examination.

An intrusive piece of malware "designed specifically to target military networks" affected PCs in combat zones and penetrated one "highly protected classified network", the Los Angeles Times reports.

Malware and hacker attacks against military systems are all too commonplace but the threat posed by this attack was sufficient to prompt military leaders into arranging a briefing with the president.

The attack is said to originate from Russia. How much damage and inconvenience was caused by the assault remains unclear. But the circumstances of the attack hardly justify talk of cyberwarfare that the story has sparked.

The LA Times reports that the malware involved - identified as Agent-btz - has been in circulation for months, only recently affecting Pentagon systems, an observation at odds with the theory that the malware was designed to infect military systems.

It seems to have gotten into Afghanistan via an infected USB drive, a chain of events that goes a long way towards explaining why the US military recently suspended the use of removable storage devices. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.