Morning Security Brief: Colorado Wildfires, Goodbye Stuxnet, Attackers Target Blueprints

By Carlton Purvis

Almost 250 homes have been destroyed by a two-week-old wildfire near Ft. Collins, Colorado. In one neighborhood, more than 57 homes were lost. “Fire officials had previously said that 191 homes had burned, the most in state history,” the Associated Press reports. On sunday, the number of homes destroyed was 248. The Denver Post reported that the fire has burned more than 130 square miles. More than 11,000 residents have been evacuated.

►Midnight Sunday, Stuxnet, the world’s most powerful cyberweapon, went offline. “At present, the program still wakes up, goes through various check functions, looking for a target to destroy. But deep inside Stuxnet's labyrinth of software code are a few lines that will soon order the program to stop working altogether in a pre-programmed, belated, and ultimately unsuccessful bid to prevent it from being detected and deciphered,” Mark Clayton of the Christian Science Monitor reported. Stuxnet, which infected 130,000 computers globally and temporarily disrupted Iran’s nuclear program by sabotaging centrifuges, was recently revealed to be a U.S.-Israeli collaboration.

►ESET researchers have discovered a computer worm built for industrial espionage. “Medrea is an information-stealing worm capable of ferreting out AutoCAD drawings on infected machines, and transferring the files by email to accounts based in China,” SC Magazine reported. Every new design that is opened or saved is sent to the email accounts. ESET says the worm was initially distributed using AutoCAD templates infected with malware.

►In other news, India arrests Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Abu Hamza, one of the masterminds behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 dead. ♦ The LA Times blog Science Now discusses options for oversight of bird flu research. ♦ And, one man is in custody for a grenade and shooting attack on a bar in Mombasa that killed three. Twenty-five people were wounded. “Kenya has seen several grenade attacks since it sent troops into Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants last October,” the Associated Press reports.



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