By Shepard Ambellas
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks during the White House daily briefing. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
In what can only be described as an ominous statement, DHS head Janet Napolitano, blabbed upon her departure from the organization that a coming “cyber event” would cripple the economy causing turmoil for nearly all Americans.
RawStory.com reported, “In what she described as “a kind of open letter to my successor,” Napolitano warned of terrorist threats, major weather events and the need to reinforce US border security.
“Our country will, for example, at some point, face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy, and the Read more…
The Anonymous hacking group may soon have the ability to launch an attack on global power networks, a US official has warned.
The claim was immediately rejected by the loosely-linked group of hackers, who accused the National Security Agency of “fear-mongering” after its director, General Keith Alexander, made the claims in the Wall Street Journal.
Hackers also launched a “comments flash mob” attack on the newspaper’s website, and warned “We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us!”
Gen Alexander is said to have warned that the hackers could develop the ability to bring about a limited power outage across the United States and beyond within a “year or two”.
In the report, Gen Alexander was said to have briefed the White House and other top officials about the growing threat from Anonymous.
He said that cyber-attackers could disable or damage computer networks linked to national grids across the globe.
The general has not spoken publicly about the supposed fears, but one unnamed industry executive told the Read more…
On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.
If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet’s flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and Read more…
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Commander of the new U.S. Cyber Command General Keith Alexander said Tuesday that he’s most concerned about attacks targeting America’s electrical grid, and destroying large public machinery.
Gen. Alexander says cyber-attacks over the Internet are shifting from data theft to physical assaults.
To illustrate his point the General used two examples.
Security experts have discovered the biggest series of cyber attacks to date, involving the infiltration of the networks of 72 organisations including the United Nations, governments and companies around the world.
Security company McAfee, which uncovered the intrusions, said it believed there was one “state actor” behind the attacks but declined to name it, though one security expert who has been briefed on the hacking said the evidence points to China.
The long list of victims in the five-year campaign include the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the International Olympic Committee (IOC); the World Anti-Doping Agency; and an array of companies, from defence contractors to high-tech enterprises.
In the case of the United Nations, the hackers broke into the computer system of the UN Secretariat in Geneva in 2008, hid there unnoticed for nearly two years, and quietly combed through reams of secret data, according to McAfee.
“Even we were surprised by the enormous diversity of the victim organizations and were taken aback by the audacity of the perpetrators,” McAfee’s vice president of threat research, Dmitri Alperovitch, wrote in a 14-page report.
“What is happening to all this data Read more…
The report discusses the results of cyber war games called Cyber Storm, involving Australia and 12 other countries last year, which simulated a large-scale international cyber security incident.
Citing “gaps” in the cyber security procedures of both government and Australian industry, the report’s author, former army intelligence officer Miles Jakeman, noted that there were areas where “communications and planning could be further developed”.
The gaps were acknowledged by the federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, during a speech at a cyber security conference in Canberra yesterday.
“[The report] did highlight gaps within existing government and business cyber incident processes … this feedback allows both government and businesses to take steps to improve our cyber security,” he said.
The report is further evidence that the Read more…
Last week Republican senator John McCain called for the government to establish a special panel to come up with legislation to address supposed cybersecurity threats facing the United States.
“The only way to move comprehensive cyber security legislation forward swiftly is to have committee chairmen and ranking members step away from preserving their own committees’ jurisdiction … (and) develop a bill that serves the national security needs of all Americans,” McCain said.
As if on cue, the Pentagon announced two previously unpublicized attacks following McCain’s call for a bipartisan action.
On Thursday, out-going deputy secretary of defense Bill Lynn said a foreign intelligence service had stolen 24,000 files on a sensitive weapons system from a defense contractor’s network.
Lynn said the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Pilot was established to work with the private sector in the battle against cyber foes.
“Our success in cyberspace depends on a robust public Read more…
The Pentagon’s advanced research branch is working on a virtual version of the Internet to further the U.S.’s resistance against cyber attacks. According to Reuters, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, more commonly known as DARPA, is setting up something called the National Cyber Range. The National Cyber Range would be a virtual “testbed” to simulate a mini-Internet. Officials could use it to test virtual cyber-warfare games that experiment with different computer-generated-attack situations.
DARPA, the same agency that started that whole Internet thing in the 1960s, created the National Cyber Range project to make it simple to create different scenarios, combine those scenarios, and ultimately test any potential situations that may have to be dealt with on the real Internet. The purpose is to test things like network protocols as well as satellite and radio Read more…
Oct. 26: The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
Just as the computers that ran Iran’s nuclear program were sabotaged and crippled by a cyber “super worm” virus, the software used to run much of America’s industrial, transportation and power infrastructure — including nuclear power plants and major airports — is vulnerable to cyber attack, and two software companies have revealed dozens of successful hacks to prove it.
The issue lies in specialized software systems sold by Siemens, Iconics, 7-Technologies and others to power plants and other infrastructure. Called “supervisory control and data acquisition” systems, or SCADA, they run software solely for industrial use.
And it’s just as vulnerable as every other program on your Read more…