Entries in Weapon (3)


Stuxnet-Linked Cyber Weapon Hits Lebanon

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A new cyber weapon believed to be linked by code to the infamous Stuxnet worm has been discovered stealing banking information in Lebanon, according to Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Labs.

The new malware, dubbed Gauss for an in-code reference to a German mathematician, is designed to “steal and monitor data from clients of several Lebanese banks,” among other nefarious abilities. The code also includes some kind of “special warhead” that is so well encrypted that Kaspersky has been unable to identify it.

Of the more than 2,500 instances of Gauss infections in the Middle East, more than 1,600 of them were discovered in Lebanon and nearly 500 in Israel, Kaspersky said in a blog post.

Kaspersky researchers said they discovered Gauss while investigating Flame, a massive espionage program revealed in May that was able to record nearly everything done on an infected computer, including real-world conversations that took place near it.

Kaspersky researchers had previously linked specific portions of code in Flame to Stuxnet, believed to be the first-ever true cyberweapon to do actual physical damage to its target, an Iranian nuclear facility, and Duqu, a surveillance worm based on Stuxnet. Now the Russian researchers said they believe Gauss to be related to those three as well.

“After looking at Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame, we can say with a high degree of certainty that Gauss comes from the same ‘factory’ or ‘factories,’” the blog post said.

Kaspersky and several other cyber security firms said that Stuxnet and its kin are so sophisticated and required such a commitment of time and expertise that a nation-state was most likely behind their creations. A 2010 Congressional report on Stuxnet put the U.S. and Israel at the top of a short list of probable suspects and the New York Times reported Stuxnet was developed by the two countries as part of a wave of cyber aimed at Iran.

Peter Boogaard, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said the agency is “coordinating with our federal and private sector partners to analyze” Gauss and is “working with organizations that could potentially be affected.”

Kaspersky said that while a vast majority of the infections they’ve detected were centered in Lebanon, there were a few instances of Gauss detected on computer systems in the U.S. and the total number of infections is still unknown.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Drones Are The New Weapon in Mexican Drug War

AFPI/US AIR FORCE(WASHINGTON) -- There are reports of a significant new weapon in the drug wars along the U.S.-Mexican border.

President Obama did not mention it publicly when Mexico's president was at the White House two weeks ago, but the U.S. is reportedly flying unmanned drone surveillance aircraft deep into Mexican territory.

The New York Times says intelligence information about drug activity is then given to Mexican police. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Army Testing New 'Smart' Weapons in Afghanistan

Photo Courtesy - US Army(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Nine years into the war in Afghanistan, a handful of U.S. soldiers have a new weapon in hand, a lethal combination of technology and explosives that the Army has called a "game changer."

Looking like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie, the XM-25 fires highly specialized rounds that can be programmed to explode at the precise location where the enemy is hiding behind cover.

Five of the high-tech, semi-automatic weapons arrived in the war-torn country this month and soon will be tested in combat.

"This weapon makes our forces more lethal, it makes them more effective and it keeps them safer," said Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, the project manager for individual weapons at Program Executive Office Soldier, which developed the XM-25.  "This is the first time that we've put smart technology in the weapons system for the individual soldier."

Though the XM-25 has tested well in the United States, military brass will be watching the weapon's performance in real-life combat to assess not only how well it performs, but also what weapons it might end up replacing.

Soldiers currently up against insurgents ducking for cover behind fortified walls have little choice but either to fire highly explosive 40mm grenades or mortar rounds, which are effective, but often inaccurate, or to leave their own cover and maneuver to fire direct shots, which puts American lives at risk.

Enter the XM-25.  "We're talking about seconds to neutralize the enemy, versus minutes," Lehner said.

Crouching behind his own cover, a U.S. soldier armed with the XM-25 can point his weapon at the wall behind which the enemy is hiding to get the precise distance.  The rounds, which come four to a magazine plus one in the chamber, can then be programmed to travel just a short distance behind that to explode precisely where the insurgent is believed to be hiding.

With the scope aimed at the top of the wall, the round will fire and explode before impact, at the precise location programmed by the soldier, raining a hail of explosives and fragments on to the enemy.  It all takes mere seconds -- five to program and fire, two for travel.  The rounds also take into account air pressure and temperature to accurately hit their marks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio