Remember when we were all worried about Iran’s nuclear program? As recently as September 2010, The Atlantic magazine declared the Middle East to be at “the point of no return” in an article detailing Israel’s scramble to prepare its defenses against a nuclearized Iran.
Then, suddenly, the threat was gone. By the end of that same month CBS News was reporting that a computer virus called “Stuxnet” was eating away at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Stuxnet set Iran’s nuclear ambitions back by years, earning it instant
notoriety as the world’s first state-sponsored cyberweapon. The state in
question is alleged to be the United States, accused of having worked
with Israel to engineer the virus. The U.S. has neither confirmed nor
denied its involvement with Stuxnet, though it has made it clear it does
consider computer viruses to be state weapons. In May of this year,
President Barack Obama signed executive orders declaring foreign acts of computer sabotage to be acts of war.
we approach the first birthday of the world’s first cyberweapon,
digital doom has emerged on other fronts. This past weekend, as the FBI
conducted raids into the homes of suspected members of the Lulz group, a
new “indestructible” botnet emerged: TDL-4 is supposed to have already
infected more than 4.5 million computers.
Eugene Kaspersky is the
founder of Kaspersky Lab, the Russian security firm that discovered
TDL-4 and among the first to analyze Stuxnet. Kaspersky is also no
stranger to real-world crime; his son was kidnapped from a Moscow
subway station in April of this past year (he was retrieved by Russian
police a few days later). AskMen sat down with Kaspersky to discuss
cyberweapons, the possibility of an internet INTERPOL, and why Android
is going to rule the world.