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Homemade Cyberweapon Worries Federal Officials

By Washington Times

May 25, 2011

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Security researchers Dillon Beresford and Brian Meixell have developed a cyberweapon similar to the Stuxnet computer worm that disrupted Iran's nuclear program computer systems last year.

The researchers' ability to develop the program working at home on laptops has raised concerns at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has asked the researchers to cancel their planned presentation of the technology at a computer security conference next week.

DHS officials are worried that if the researchers' method is made public, other hackers will replicate the malicious software and cripple federal computer controls. The software was tested on equipment made by Siemens, and while Beresford worked with DHS officials on ways to protect industrial computer programs, he says Siemens' officials have been slow to respond to the hole in their security systems. "They requested that I not share the data, but it was absolutely my decision to cancel," Beresford says.

The researchers' work is alarming because experts initially believed that it would take significant resources and access to detailed information on the intended target to duplicate the Stuxnet worm.

From The Washington Times
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