Kaspersky develops OS to secure critical platforms
System is response to escalating cyber war, says CEO
Cyber security specialist Kaspersky Lab has confirmed rumours of the launch of a new operating system that will be designed to secure critical infrastructure distributions such as energy generation and telecommunications.
Writing on his blog, Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, reiterated the warnings he gave to delegates and press at this week's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2012.
Kaspersky Lab co-hosted a cyber-security roundtable with the UN ICT watchdog at the event, where Kaspersky himself delivered the keynote address. On the blog, he confirmed that the company was "working on developing technologies for a secure operating system aimed at protecting critical IT industrial control systems".
His warnings, which embrace a number of doomsday scenarios involving critical infrastructure collapse from malware exploits, were designed to provoke action among regulators and governments to take steps to plug what Kaspersky sees as gaping holes in critical systems.
"Today I'd like to talk about the future," he blogged. "About a not-so-glamorous future of mass cyber-attacks on nuclear power stations, energy supply and transportation control facilities, financial and telecommunications systems, and in general what we call critically important installations. Or you could think back to Die Hard 4.0, where an attack on infrastructure plunged pretty much the whole country into chaos."
Kaspersky's alert comes at a time when numerous enterprise-level technology platforms across the GCC have been subjected to malware attacks. Exploits have ranged from the zero-day virus incursions at Saudi's Aramco, to the counterfeiting of Qatari news network Al Jazeera's SMS alert service, which allowed cyber criminals to blanket fake press coverage to subscribers of the assassinations of prominent members of the Qatari government.
"Alas, John McClane isn't around to solve the problem of vulnerable industrial systems, and even if he were, his usual methods of choice wouldn't work," Kaspersky wrote.
"However, we are working on developing technologies for a secure operating system aimed at protecting precisely these same critical IT industrial control systems (ICS). "