Accession Number : ADA326780

Title :   Viruses And Other Computer Pathogens: Should DoD Care?

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Kirsch, Robert A., II

PDF Url : ADA326780

Report Date : 01 APR 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 34

Abstract : Information technology -- computers, networks and their associated software and communications -- has been evolving at an astounding rate. Viruses and other computer pathogens, which have existed only for a few years, have been evolving at an equally high rate. We must now acknowledge the potential for more aggressive virus attacks which can wreak significant strategic damage. Military and civilian administrative and logistic computer and communications systems represent the most lucrative potential targets. Tactical systems generally are closed; their operating systems have not yet been attacked, since they communicate and transfer data over non-public, tactical and strategic communications systems. However, the potential for attack by a determined person or persons exists. This threat will increase as we become more dependent on these strategic systems. The time has come to anticipate how, by whom, and under what conditions an attack will occur. Computer pathogens have matured to a state where no computer system is completely safe, unless it is stand-alone. Computer viruses avoid detection by constantly changing their identity; network worms can gain access to most networks; and Trojan Horses can do both without the user's knowledge. Once the pathogens are present and a triggering event occurs, the potential damage they may do is incalculable. If DOD intends to rely on its strategic systems in the future, it must plan for and deal with viruses and other computer pathogens now.

Descriptors :   *COMPUTER PROGRAMS, *COMPUTER VIRUSES, DETECTION, HIGH RATE, DAMAGE, NETWORKS, COMPUTERS, ATTACK, TARGETS, COMMUNICATION AND RADIO SYSTEMS, TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, PATHOGENIC MICROORGANISMS, WORMS, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS.

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE