SecurityFocus: Ex-CIA Chief: Beware Spy-Viruses

“Former CIA director R. James Woolsey, speaking on a panel here
Wednesday, warned that international spies and terrorists would
soon wield a more purposeful and dangerous breed of computer virus
than ever seen before. Unlike Melissa, CIH or the recent ILOVEYOU
virus, these viruses would not be destructive, but “instructive,”
Woolsey said.”

“As described by Woolsey, an “instructive” virus would
spread covertly and use minimal system and network resources as it
instructs computers to perform certain functions undetected, like
stealing particular secrets from specific targets.”

“Woolsey gave a law firm with a sensitive case as an example
victim. “They get a virus into the local area network that says,
‘transfer at midnight, Sunday night, all files on such-and-such a
case to this particular outside computer,'” Woolsey explained. “If
you’ve got an instructive virus in your system that is reading out
your files to one of your competitors, that may have been going on
for some time.”


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