The malware commonly known as “Flame” appears to have a common origin with the military-grade Stuxnet worm.
That assessment comes from Kaspersky Labs, which has been comparing the two pieces of malware since Flame gained notoriety after being discovered by the Iranian government two weeks ago as part of an alleged attack on the country’s oil facilities.
According to a blog post from Kaspersky researchers, “a critical module that the Flame worm used to spread is identical to a module used by Stuxnet.a, an early variant of the Stuxnet worm that began circulating in 2009, more than a year before a later variant of the worm was discovered by antivirus researchers at the Belarussian firm VirusBlokAda.” Kaspersky now considers the module in question to be a Flame plug-in.
This discovery reverses the company’s earlier position, suggesting that Flame and Stuxnet showed no obvious link or common software ancestor, despite the fact that both attacks were concentrated on the Middle East, shared similar modes of transmission via USB storage devices, an exploitation of the Windows auto-run feature, and exploited the use of a print spooler vulnerability.
The Kaspersky report goes on to say that the two pieces of malware appear to have taken separate directions at some point after 2009, potentially caused by each worm being assigned to separate development teams. Flame, however, appears to have been created first, and one of its modules was apparently used in the development of Stuxnet, potentially to exploit a zero-day vulnerability that enabled an escalation of privileges in a manner that was later patched by Microsoft. That module was removed in 2010, subsequent to the issuance of the patch.
A number of news reports point to the U.S. and Israeli governments as the ultimate sources of Flame, Stuxnet, or both. While neither has become an issue to corporate networks at this point, channel partners say it will likely foster a renewed interest in information security.
Archive for June 15th, 2012
Posted by Xeno on June 15, 2012
Posted by Xeno on June 15, 2012
Are you psychic? Do you understand probability? What are the odds of guessing 20 coin tosses correctly?
The odds of guessing one fair coin toss correctly are 50/50. You’d be right 1/2 of the time. (50%)
The odds of guessing the second coin are still 50/50, but for the odds of being correct both times in a row, you’d multiply the two probabilities. So, you’d get 0.5 * 0.5 = 0.25. You would guess both correctly 1/4 of the time (25%)
For three coin tosses, the odds of guessing all three correctly are 0.5 * 0.5 * 0.5 = 1/8 or 12.5%. Looked at another way, there is an 87.7% chance that you could not guess three in a row.
For 10 coin tosses, you would guess all 10 correctly only 0.1% of the time. In other words, the 99.9% of the time you would not do this.
For 20 coin tosses, the odds of guessing all 20 correctly are 0.0001%, or 1 in 1 million 48 thousand five hundred seventy six. You are more likely to be struck by lightning this year than to guess 20 coins in a row. It could happen, but the odds are over 1 million to one against that happening.
For comparison: According to NOAA, the odds of being struck by lighting are 1 in a million (1,000,000) in any given year. If you live to be 80 years old, the odds increase to 1 in 10,000 that you will be struck by lightning. In other words, guessing 20 coin tosses correctly is about as likely as getting struck by lightning some time in your life. Very un-likely! 1 in a million!
Try this psychic coin guessing demo:
For my guesses, I got 8, 12, 10 correct when I did 20 in a row. I never could get 13 or 14 correct out of 20 guesses. Let me know how you do!
Here’s my chart you can use with the above test to see if you are amazing at either guessing correctly, or missing:
|Odds of guessing:||%||Probability||Odds (1 in … )|
My purpose is to be able to apply this to other things, such as testing other paranormal claims.
To prove something works and is not just by chance then, I’d want to test it 20 times. If there is a yes/no option, I’d expect about 8 to 12 hits correct by pure chance. Notice that the odds of getting 16 correct are 216 to 1, but the odds of 19 correct are 52,429. Quite a difference!