Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

What is a Logic Bomb?

What is a Logic Bomb

A logic bomb is a type of malware that contains malicious code that is discreetly installed into software, a computer network, or an operating system with the goal of causing harm to a network when certain conditions are met. It is triggered at a specific event and used to devastate a system by clearing hard drives, deleting files, or corrupting data. An event can be a specific date or time leading up to the launch of an infected software application or the deletion of a specific record from a system.

In order to maximize damage before being noticed, logic bombs are mainly used with trojan horses, worms, and viruses. The primary objective of logic bombs is to reformat a hard drive, modify or corrupt data, and remove important files from the system. The devastation caused by a logic bomb can be a huge level.

The intention of logic bomb attack is to cyber sabotage from a person within a company or organization who is authorized to access essential information, whereas other forms of malware, which break into a secure system. If employees believe they might be fired from the company, the logic bomb might be a way for them to take revenge on the company. Using the assistance of a logic bomb and diffusing it every day may be an ideal method for them, as they are the only ones capable of delaying. As a result, the attack can begin at any point over a predetermined time period or when they leave the organization.

Is a logic bomb malware?

Logic bombs are a small piece of code that is contained by other programs. They are not technically malware; however, they might be malicious. There are various kinds of malware; common types include worms and viruses that can have a logic bomb in terms of their attack policy.

In contrast to viruses and worms that have the potential to infect a system on their own, on the other side, a logic bomb is secretly inserted into a software application, computer network, or operating system by someone with inside knowledge of the system, for example, an unsatisfied employee inserts this in their system's network. As logic bomb is triggered at a specific event, and they cannot trigger and can go undetected for a long time on the basis of the code condition.

How does a logic bomb work?

There are two types of conditions that can set off a logic bomb: positive and negative. Logic bombs with positive triggers are those that are detonated once a condition is met, such as the date of a key company event or when you open a specific file. And a logic bomb that is launched when a condition is not met is known as a logic bomb with negative triggers. And a logic bomb that is launched when a condition is not met is known as a logic bomb with negative triggers, such as when the bomb is not deactivated on time, or an employee is unable to deactivate the code by a specific time.

The attacks caused by a logic bomb can be huge level. There are multiple examples of logic bombs that describe how they have wiped some organizations and servers of major financial institutions. Anything that has the potential to destroy the server of an organization or institution can be more powerful to the general population it serves, as well as devastating the company itself.

To perform various unauthorize activities, logic bombs can be programmed by someone; some malicious activities are as follows:

  • Consume system resources
  • Delete data
  • Restrict or prevent user access
  • Create backdoors for hackers
  • Corrupting data
  • Steal data

Characteristics of a logic bomb virus

There are multiple characteristics of a logic bomb, which are as follows:

  1. It is dormant for a set period of time: Logic bombs, like ticking time bombs, aren't supposed to go off right immediately. Therefore, people who have the aim to attack a system at a specific time often use logic bombs. Logic bombs can go undetected for a long time of period and are subtle.
  2. Its payload is unknown until it triggers: A payload carries out the malicious activity as it is a component of malware. Generally, it carries out that what kind of destruction the malware has coded to inflict. The devastation caused by payload can be in the form of the infected system, the spread of spam emails, or the theft of valuable data.
  3. It's triggered by a certain condition: The requirement is the logic bomb's detonator, which must be finished. This is the trait that has allowed the logic bomb to remain undiscovered for years. It is triggered at a specific event, such as the date of a major organization event or the fire of an employee from the company payroll. The triggers of the logic bomb are related to a particular date and time, also called time bombs.

How to Protect Against Logic Bombs

You must use multiple layers of cybersecurity to protect yourself against logic bombs and not depend only on any antivirus software. Antivirus software may not be able to catch all instances of malware; however, it is absolutely powerful to protect against malware as well as logic bombs. As Logic bombs are triggered at a particular time; hence, they do not execute their malicious code immediately. That's why antivirus software may be unable to handle them until it is much late.

You can get better protection against logic bombs if you use a firewall in conjunction with antivirus software. Using a firewall means that the logic bomb will be unable to make its way onto your computer system as it scans all traffic. Also, getting backup of your business's data regularly is the best idea to protect against logic bombs, even if you are using multiple layers of cybersecurity.

Although the process of creating a backup of data takes time, it will relax your mind that if you have become a victim of a logic bomb, you can still restore your data to its original state. However, the best practice of cybersecurity can be a good way to protect yourself against the logic bomb, which includes:

  • Always use the latest version of antivirus software.
  • Now and then, scan all files available on the system, as well as compressed files.
  • Within a network individually, protect all computers.
  • Make sure that features like email screening and auto-protect are activated by all the users.
  • A safe use policy should be provided to all employees. Also, offer them authorization to maintain the integrity and safety of data they have access to.

Logic bomb vs. time bomb attacks

A kind of logic bomb, a time bomb, is executed at a specific date or time. Below are some popular instances to describe logic bombs and time bombs:

Logic bomb examples

It is thought to be the first logic bomb attack between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which occurred in 1982. The CIA received evidence that a KGB spy had stolen plans for a sophisticated control system, as well as its software, from a Canadian corporation, which had to be utilized on a Siberian pipeline. Apparently, in the system, a logic bomb had been coded by the CIA to sabotage the enemy. Since the introduction of the computer virus, the logic bomb attacks have started in television, movies as well as real life.

Inside the Siemens Corporation, there was another popular incident of a logic bomb. David Tinley, a contract employee, offered software to one of Siemens' offices. He was a trusted asset to the company as he was working for Siemens for about a decade. He was responsible for providing spreadsheet software to manage equipment. But a logic bomb was planned by Tinley at any point in one of the spreadsheets.

The software would go wrong, and Tinley would be called to correct it at every time coded logical condition was met. The running time of Tinley's scheme was two years. When Tinley handed the password to the software to Siemens' IT staff during another crash when Tinley was out of town, the logic bomb was uncovered. A slag code is another name for the logic bomb. Sometimes, logic bombs are also called cyber bombs and code bombs.

Time bomb examples

An incident at the investment banking company UBS happened in 2006, which is considered a popular instance of a computer time bomb. Roger Duronio, a system administrator for the UBS Group AG, organized the time bomb. Duronio made a plan to set up a time bomb malware attack as he was not happy with his bonus. The time bomb knocked out 2,000 servers at 400 office branches and went out off at a particular date described by Duronio.

He also made a plan to decrease the stock value of UBS, but this plan was not successful. Duronio had to pay $3.1 million to UBS, and he was sentenced to 8 years in jail. In 1998, the CIH virus, another popular time bomb incident was happened, which is known as Chernobyl. The time of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was 26 April, the trigger time of Chernobyl.

The CIH virus is considered the most destructive malware attack by many people. It was one of the first malware attacks, which was considered to destroy hardware, including usual software. The BIOS on some motherboards was damaged, and all the information on system hard drives was destroyed through CIH.

How to prevent logic bomb attacks?

There are different ways to prevent logic bomb attacks as logic bombs can cause serious damage and are sneaky; however, there is no way to completely prevent them. But you can make attackers life harder and abstain from logic bomb attacks as well as other malware threats by taking the necessary steps given below:

1. Use trusted antivirus software

There is no fun to remove malware from the computer system. If you use trust antivirus software, you will be free up about thinking malware infections. Before it infects your device, trusted anti-malware software will help you out to stop malware from the system. You can take this proactive step to get a safer online experience.

2. Don't download anything you don't know or trust

When you download software or documents online, you must use your best judgment, just like when you purchase any big product and making other big decisions. You should be aware of disreputable freeware or pirated software. Furthermore, always use antivirus programs from trusted security companies. Hackers are experts in order to cause harm by exploiting vulnerabilities. Be aware of email attachments or suspicious links; even stay away from them.

3. Perform regular OS updates

There is a complete armory of malware, such as spyware, ransomware, logic bombs. And, this malware regularly tries to get benefits to form new vulnerabilities on operating systems. Gratefully, to avoid these kinds of threats, developers update their software. It will be better to constantly update your operating system to combat these threats.

There are other key points to prevent the use of logic bombs in your system.

  • Do not become much greedy and have much power over your users. Only give them authority as much they need. This may help to limit the chances to attack by a particular user.
  • Always be up to date. The user may try to get access with the help of the privilege escalation technique if he does not have sufficient access. Also, it can be much difficult to patch your system regularly.
  • An integrity checker aids you in determining whether any software has been altered to include a logic bomb. You can use a program called "Tripwire" to check for integrity.
  • Check regularly your scheduler that if any unknown jobs are not scheduled.
  • It will be better to use a secure system configuration. Additionally, for most platforms, you can find a hardening guide on the net. On a different host, you must use a unique password for every account.

These prevention techniques are not only useful to prevent logic bomb attacks but also useful to prevent other similar attacks, such as trojans, rootkits, abuses of the system, and more.

Next TopicWhat is a MacBook

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA