Cyberwar: Is Offense the New Defense?


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Many experts - including some in the military - argue that cyber weapons could make our networks safer. But will they? Robert Lemos reports from the Conference on Cyber Warfare in Estonia.

Tallinn, Estonia -- Eight months after it started spreading, the Conficker worm remains on hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of computer systems. While the furor over the worm has died down, worries over the capabilities of the sleeper botnet continue to concern cybersecurity experts.

The call to do something about the latent threat is growing louder. This week, two German researchers -- Felix Leder and Tillmann Werner, PhD students at the University of Bonn -- advocated attacking back at the botnet, before it's used for another purpose.

"Most counter measures nowadays are reactive, you wait for an attack to happen, and then you take the countermeasure," Werner said at the Conference on Cyber Warfare, an event held by the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallin. "We need something that will stop the attack in advance."

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