Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "computer virus" ...

  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the First Digital Weapon

    In 2010, computer security researchers discovered a mysterious virus/worm infecting computers in Iran. At first, they believed the malicious code was a simple, routine piece of malware. But as they and other experts around the world dug into the code, they found that it was a virus of unparalleled sophistication and complexity. They had, they soon learned, stumbled upon the world’s first digital weapon. Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike other viruses and worms built before because rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to physically destroy equipment the computers controlled. Stuxnet had been designed and launched to destroy centrifuges used in a uranium-enrichment plant in Iran in order to set back the Islamic Republic's nuclear program and prevent it from producing a nuclear weapon.
  • Bugs on the Border

    The Department of Homeland Security's screening for foreign nationals entering the U.S. was crippled for about five hours due to a computer security failure. However, they claimed that the problem was a result of glitches, not a virus although a Morocco-born computer worm had actually been the cause of the computer failure. It entered the system when government administrators had delayed installing a security patch. “The stories provided a concrete example of the management issues and technical problems surrounding US-VISIT – a lynchpin of the United States’ border protection efforts.”
  • The Doomsday Click

    The New Yorker analyses "how easily could a hacker bring the world to a standstill." The story explains how harassment by computer viruses could easily turn into much more serious attacks.
  • Cyberspace Invaders

    Hackers and computer viruses can trash your computer or use it to attack banks, insurance companies, power plants, and other institutions. Here's how to stop them.
  • U.S. Government Hysteria In Computer Security

    Vmyths.com reports on the U.S. government's "panicked approach" to computer security before and after September 11th, 2001. The articles look at "plagiarism and other shenanigans" in the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center, the role of the National Security Council in giving computer virus technology to the Chinese government, an examination of the attempt to limit FOIA in the name of computer security, and an effort to keep the trials of hackers away from public scrutiny.
  • Notes from the Virus Underground

    Rolling Stone reports how "computer viruses are the terrorist threat of the digital age. The inside story of who creates them and why."
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    In an exclusive, investigative report, that entailed hundreds of interviews and hours reviewing classified documents, TIME Magazine reported that infromation warfare is being touted as potentially as great a revolution as the atom bomb. War would be waged through computer viruses that cripple telephone service, logic bombs that can misroute transportation and electronic infiltration designed to send phony orders to enemy troops in the field.
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    Texas Monthly details one of the first successfully prosecuted computer crime cases; reviews the evidence and describes the people involved in the case of a fired employee who created a computer virus that destroyed 168,000 insurance company commissions-payroll records, March 1989.
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    The Sciences explains the difficulty of defending computers against "viruses;" looks at viruses that replicate and disperse automatically through electronic mailing lists; one virus caused a video monitor to burst into flames; also looks at colleges, such as Lehigh University, where all the data in more than 500 computers was destroyed.