It is only a matter of time until terrorist groups use government-made cyber weapons like Flame and Gauss to attack critical infrastructure systems, according to security expert Eugene Kaspersky.
The Russian security chief said he expects to see terrorist groups emerge using malware to mount cyber attacks in the near future, during a keynote speech at Infosec in London on Tuesday.
"Of course there are state-sponsored attacks. I think governments now think of cyber as having potential for military applications: for cyber attacks and espionage. We still don't have terrorists, but I'm afraid terrorist and guerrilla groups will be next source of cyber attacks. This is the worse than governments as you can talk to a government and be diplomatic, you can't talk to terrorists," said Kaspersky.
Kaspersky said that the attacks will be particularly dangerous as they will likely utilise modified versions of government-made versions of malware like Flame and Gauss.
"These tools are extremely dangerous as the powers behind them have the recourses to do anything. Most are for espionage, but in cyber space it's very easy to upgrade an espionage attack with a warhead. In the real world, spies spy and that's it; the spy can't blast the railway. In cyber [attacks], in one click the spying malware is turned into a warhead," said Kaspersky.
"It's only a matter of time until cyber terrorists attack everyone around the world."
Kaspersky added the terrorist attacks will also prove useful to cyber criminals, who are also developing increasingly sophisticated ways to infiltrate company's systems.
"This is because the dumb guys get arrested but the good guys stay in the business, that's why we're seeing more complex and dangerous attacks that aren't about espionage. Instead for them it's about getting to enterprise bank accounts and time to time they're successful."
Kaspersky Labs helped uncover the Flame and Guass malware, targeting critical infrastructure systems in 2012. Kaspersky said the sophisticated nature of the malware proves they were created by a government group.
"Flame, Gauss Red October and Stuxnet are sophisticated and cost millions of pounds to create. There's big money behind attacks. Criminals aren't behind this as they're not interested in spending that much. Who else would pay millions to do? It's got to be governments, or some crazy software tycoon."
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