The world needs a cyberweapons treaty, says Kaspersky

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The boundless world of the internet is in need of more stringent regulation, particularly when it comes to state-sponsored cyberweapons like Flame and Stuxnet, according to Eugene Kaspersky, head of the antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab.

During a recent event in New York, the cybersecurity expert claimed that the internet has become a dangerous place where hacktivists, criminals and cyberweapons lurk.

Although authorities have become more adept at fighting crimes in cyberspace, cyberweapons remain largely a mystery. This is dangerous because people greatly depend on information technology systems. Kaspersky pointed out that these systems control everything including power plants, factories and prisons. Simply put, they are essential to the smooth operation of a modern society.

Several years ago, workers at Kaspersky Lab discovered the very first known cyberweapons. In 2010, they uncovered the Stuxnet virus, the most state-of-the-art cyberweapon known to the public. Designed by American and Israeli computer engineers, this virus affected Iranian computers and caused the centrifuges at their uranium enrichment facilities to malfunction. The goal of Stuxnet was to deter Iran from developing nuclear technology.

Then in 2012, employees at Kaspersky Lab stumbled upon Gauss and Flame, two very high-tech espionage tools. For Kaspersky, this demonstrates that the reach of cyberweapons is rapidly expanding. He has been travelling across the globe, lobbying a number of governments as well as the UN’s International Telecommunications Union to create an international treaty curbing the use of cyberweapons.


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