Cyberweapons Pose 'Catastrophic' Threat: Kaspersky

Dennis Faas's picture

The chief executive officer and founder of prominent Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab says that the nations of the world now face cyber attacks with the potential to seriously disrupt national infrastructure.

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky recently appeared before British police and politicians. Kaspersky's presence at the gathering is seen as evidence that UK authorities are taking the threat posed by cybercriminals very seriously.

Cybercriminals Could Bring "Nations to their Knees"

"Today, sophisticated malicious programs -- cyberweapons -- have the power to disable companies, cripple governments and bring whole nations to their knees by attacking critical infrastructure in sectors such as communications, finance, transportation and utilities," Kaspersky said.

"The consequences for human populations could, as a result, be literally catastrophic." (Source:

To give his audience some idea of where he was coming from, Kaspersky noted that the number of malware samples examined by Kaspersky Lab went from less than one thousand per day in 2006 to 7,000 per day just five years later.

Kaspersky says that the number of malware threats present on the web continues to rise. Worse still, cyber attacks are becoming progressively more sophisticated, with some clearly being supported by national governments.

Kaspersky gave several examples of highly advanced malicious threats, including Duqu, Stuxnet, Shamoon, Red October, and Flame. (Source:

International Cooperation Necessary, Kaspersky Says

To deal with this rising threat, Kaspersky says that law enforcement agencies and government bodies from around the world must begin cooperating on a large scale. Furthermore, there needs to be cooperation between the public and private sectors.

"In the words of Francis Maude, UK Minister of the Cabinet Office, 'We need to team up to fight common enemies but the key to cooperating, in a spirit of openness and sharing, are guarantees to maintain the confidentiality of data shared," Kaspersky said.

Although he didn't come out and say it, experts believe Kaspersky wants the United States government to be more cooperative in helping to establish standards for dealing with cyber threats.

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