Antivirus Industry Preps for Supervirus AttacksIt's no secret that there's a cyberwar going on. First, the US hit Iran with Stuxnet, a virus that caused extensive damage to the country's nuclear program. Then, another party released Flame, a virus that, while technically simpler than Stuxnet, brought in one critical innovation: a built-in language interpreter. Now we've seen variations on both viruses making rounds, wreaking damage and attacking financial institutions. People are, understandably, nervous.
Which is why Kaspersky has decided to make their own operating system just for utilities. With a complete focus on security over features, it will be limited, but secure. The focus of the operating system will be running only code that is guaranteed to be secure. In other words, it won't be able to run any code not already on the system from the moment of the operating system's installation.
The hope is, by running this proprietary, incredibly secure core, we won't seen key elements of the infrastructure shut down. Water pumps won't stop running, nuclear cooling stations won't stop cooling, and, in the case of Iran, nuclear material centrifuges won't blow up due to miscalibration. This will be the opposite of an open-source project, kept as secret as any company with lots of employees can.
Right now, there is no word on when the operating system will reach industry. I get the feeling that we're hearing about this quite early in its development, more a response to the proliferation of these incredibly powerful viruses than anything. But in the future, we might be able to sleep a little more safely knowing that Kaspersky has secured our infrastructure from cyber attack.
Well, unless someone manages to embed the code in the operating system itself.