Logic bomb

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A logic bomb is a piece of code intentionally inserted into a software system that will set off a malicious function when specified conditions are met. For example, a programmer may hide a piece of code that starts deleting files (such as a salary database trigger), should they ever be terminated from the company.

Software that is inherently malicious, such as viruses and worms, often contain logic bombs that execute a certain payload at a pre-defined time or when some other condition is met. This technique can be used by a virus or worm to gain momentum and spread before being noticed. Some viruses attack their host systems on specific dates, such as Friday the 13th or April Fool's Day. Trojans that activate on certain dates are often called "time bombs".

To be considered a logic bomb, the payload should be unwanted and unknown to the user of the software. As an example, trial programs with code that disables certain functionality after a set time are not normally regarded as logic bombs.

Supposed logic bombing of the Trans-Siberian Pipeline[edit]

It has been reported that in 1982 the Trans-Siberian Pipeline incident occurred because of a logic bomb (It has later been reported that this story may be a hoax[1]). A KGB operative was reported to have stolen the plans for a sophisticated control system and its software from a Canadian firm, for use on their Siberian pipeline. The CIA was supposedly tipped off by documents in the Farewell Dossier and had the company insert a logic bomb in the program for sabotage purposes.[2]

Attempted logic bombs[edit]

Fictional logic bombs[edit]

See also[edit]


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  6. ^ Man accused of crashing UBS servers | The Register
  7. ^ Nightmare On Wall Street: Prosecution Witness Describes 'Chaos' In UBS PaineWebber Attack - News byy InformationWeek
  8. ^ Are Background Checks Necessary For IT Workers? Ask UBS PaineWebber - VARBusiness[dead link]
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  10. ^ Fannie Mae Contractor Indicted For Logic Bomb
  11. ^ Former Employee of Fannie Mae Contractor Convicted of Attempting to Destroy Fannie Mae Computer Data 4 October 2010
  12. ^ Stephen C. Webster (31 December 2010). "Programmer jailed three years over plot to wipe out all of Fannie Mae's financial data". The Raw Story. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  13. ^ TSA Worker Gets 2 Years for Planting Logic Bomb in Screening System 12 January 2011
  14. ^ Springs man sent to prison for hacking into TSA computer 11 January 2011
  15. ^ "Government waging 'war' against people: Kim Zetter". Wired (magazine). Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "South Korea raises alert after hackers attack broadcasters, banks: Se Young Lee". Reuters. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Remote Linux Wiper Found in South Korean Cyber Attack". Symantec. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "South Korean Banks and Broadcasting Organizations Suffer Major Damage from Cyber Attack". Symantec. Retrieved 3 April 2013.