A new weapon in the world of cyberwar has been discovered in the form of the Gauss
trojan. Here's the latest news, some background and a glimpse at how the Pentagon
wants to be able to react.
As this story outlines
, Kaspersky Lab and Budapest's Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySys) have rolled out online tools that lets organizations check their computers for the threat.
The initial reports are that the trojan is aimed at financial institutions in the Middle East, but the malware could turn up here as well. In a news release Kaspersky calls Gauss a "nation-state sponsored cyber-espionage toolkit " along the lines of the Duqu, Stuxnet and Flame trojans.
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Cyber-espionage is a bit safer than sending spies in to kill people and foment war, but it does run the danger of an escalating tit-for-tat digital war. So it comes as no suprise the Washington Post reports the U.S. military's cyber-experts are quietly angling to take a more aggressive role in defending critical American networks. The Pentagon is limited now to protecting military networks , but it would like some flexibility. Just in case.