Backfiring virus

When rogue states get hold of technologically advanced products, there’s usually quite a lot of hullabaloo, especially if those counties are considered to be designing, developing or fabricating nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons.

Despite the restrictions that many countries in the west place on the export of some technologies that might be used for such purposes, it would appear that these restrictions do little to stop the engineers in such countries purloining other equipment for such programmes – whether they are truly aimed at peaceful purposes or more malicious ones.

Nevertheless, many western intelligence agencies attempt to curb the use of advanced technologies by employing numerous secret service individuals who are chartered with discovering who might be involved in shipping the same into the rogue states for use in such mischievous applications.

Not so long ago, the folks at one of the larger secret service agencies were delighted when they found themselves given an unexpected helping hand in their work, all thanks to a group of folks who were themselves engaged in criminal activity.

You see, the particular group in question had developed a rather malicious computer virus that attacked the operating system of computers. That itself, of course, wouldn’t have created much of a stir in the secret service agencies, who were well aware that such hackers regularly infested the internet with such software on a regular basis.

But this time around, things were a bit different. After attacking the operating system, the specific virus in question also went on to compromise a piece of control and data acquisition software that was used for specific industrial processes – some of which could be used in the nuclear industry.

Due to the limited nature of the virus’ malicious intent, only a few such process plants in the west were affected by the software virus – and the folks who ran them took action quickly to address the problem, downloading fixes from the operating system vendor and the control and data acquisition provider to ensure that their systems would not go awry.

But as quick as the western process plant vendors were to vociferate their concerns over the virus, so too were some rather outspoken individuals in one rogue state, who made an extraordinary claim that the virus had been expressly developed by those western agencies to cripple their systems too.

Sadly, in voicing their concerns to the world, those folks made it clear to the western intelligence agencies that they were obviously making use of certain technologies and systems that those agencies would rather they hadn’t got hold of in the first place.

Needless to say, the western intelligence agencies are now interviewing a number of organisations to see which outfits the rogue scientists might have obtained such technologies from…

Dave Wilson
Editor, Engineeringtalk

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