Logic Bomb,Dormant Until Conditions Are Met

Logic Bomb,Dormant Until Conditions Are Met

A programmer at a large corporation who engineered this type of attack. Apparently, the programmer had been having some trouble at the company at which he worked and was on probation. Fearing that he might be fired and with vengeance in mind, he added a subroutine to another program. The subroutine was added to a program that ran once a month and was designed to scan the company’s human resources employee database to determine if a termination date had been loaded for his employee record. If the subroutine found that a termination date had been loaded, then it was designed to wipe out the entire system by deleting all files on the disk drives. The program ran every month and so long as his employee record did not have a termination date then nothing would happen. In other words, if he were not fired the program would do no damage.

Sure enough this stellar employee was fired, and the next time the logic bomb that he created ran it found a termination date in his employee record and wiped out the system. This is an example of how simple it can be, for one with privileged access to a system, to set up this type of attack.

Logic Bomb-Definition

Logic bomb is malicious code that corrupt a system but are dormant until they’re activated by the occurrence of one or more logical conditions, and deliver malicious payload to unsuspecting computer users. Simple logic bombs may be triggered according to system date or time while others may use more advanced specifications such as the removal of a file or user account, or the changing of permissions and access controls. Many viruses and Trojan horses, such as the famous Michelangelo virus, contain a logic bomb component.

Logic Bomb- Inside A Client’s Spreadsheets

According to court documents, Tinley offered software services to Siemens‘ Monroeville, PA office for about 10 years. He had been hired to create custom, automated spreadsheets that were used by the firm to manage orders for electrical equipment.

Tinley planted logic bombs in these spreadsheets that were set to go off every couple of years, the court documents revealed. Logic bombs are secret instructions inserted into a program that are meant to be carried out when a certain condition is met, usually with malicious effects.

In this case, the logic bombs crashed the spreadsheets repeatedly, requiring the German tech conglomerate to call Tinley over and over again to fix it. He would resolve it by postponing the date the spreadsheets would glitch again.

Tinley’s scheme eventually fell apart after two years in May 2016. According to a report from Law360, the logic bomb was revealed after he was forced to share the spreadsheet’s administrator password with Siemens‘ IT staff when he was out of town so that they could fix the buggy software.

His lawyers said that his motivation was merely to protect his proprietary program and not to make any extra money from Siemens. Prosecutors, however, argued that the act should be considered a felony, as the company had to spend about $42,000 on an investigation to determine the extent of damage caused due to the malicious code.

Logic Bomb carry worms and viruses as payloads.Attackers are finding clever new ways to compromise users systems in order to steal sensitive data and gain full control over their units.

A logic bomb is created in such a way that it will only be executed within the systems due to events like: a delay in time and inability of a user to respond to a certain program command. This occurs along with the elements such as computer viruses and Trojan horses, which are all designed to react to an interruption in the action within a machine. A sample situation goes wherein a code that is incorporated by a malicious programmer into a system will only begin erasing certain files like a salary database trigger once these are ceased  from the company.

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