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In the summer of 2017, software powering the critical infrastructure of Ukraine came to a grinding halt after the country was hit with a surgically precise targeted cyber attack. A malware virus called NotPetya irreversibly encrypted the files of hundreds of thousands of computers. The impact was devastating: the Chernobyl radiation moderating system was shut down, governmental institutions lost access to critical data, and the total damage was estimated to cost over $100 million. This example, among others, points to an increasing weaponization of vulnerabilities in proprietary software to accomplish these attacks.
This session explores the ways in which proprietary software acts as a catalyst for the spread of cyber attacks, and will explore the use of free software and how it can be used to build resilient, virus-resistant digital infrastructure.