Archive

Posts Tagged ‘cyber-attack’

Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Qualify as Acts of War

May 31, 2011 Comments off
mashableThe Pentagon has finished drafting its first official “computer sabotage strategy,” determining that online cyber attacks from another country can constitute an act of war, enabling the U.S. to retaliate with military force.

“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” a military official told The Wall Street Journal by way of example.

The formal strategy underlines a rising need to systematically respond to attacks on the computer systems of the U.S. and other countries. In 2009, a strain of the Microsoft Windows computer virus Stuxnex, which some believe originated from Israel with U.S. help, damaged Iran’s nuclear facilities. More recently, Google was the victim of cyber attacks that allegedly originated in China, an affair the the White House became involved in.

The 30-page document, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, is also likely to spark debates about a number of unaddressed issues, including whether the U.S. can truly determine the origin of an attack and when a cyber attack is serious enough to constitute an act of war, the WSJ notes.

Sony suffers second data breach with theft of 25m more user details

May 3, 2011 Comments off

guardian

Sony has suffered a second enormous data breach with nearly 25m customers’ details from its SOE network stolen. Photograph: Nick Rowe/Getty Images

The crisis at Sony deepened on Tuesday as it admitted that an extra 25 million customers who played games on its Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) PC games network have had their personal details stolen – and that they were taken before the theft of 77 million peoples’ details on the PlayStation Network (PSN).

The electronics giant said the names, addresses, emails, birth dates, phone numbers and other information from PC games customers were stolen from its servers as well as an “outdated database” from 2007 which contained details of around 23,400 people outside the US. That includes 10,700 direct debit records for customers in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, Sony said.

The dataset was stolen on 16 and 17 April, before the PSN break-in, which occurred from 17 to 19 April. Sony said that it had not previously thought that the data was copied by the hackers who broke into its systems.

A Sony spokeswoman in Tokyo admitted that the company was unable to predict where or how or when the next attack would come. “They are hackers. We don’t know where they’re going to attack next,” Read more…

Critical U.S. Infrastructure at Risk of Cyber Attack, Experts Warn

March 24, 2011 Comments off

foxnews.com

Oct. 26: The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.

AP

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…

Pentagon fears Anonymous attack, re: WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning

March 10, 2011 Comments off

examiner.com

Tuesday the Pentagon acknowledged fears of an attack by the Internet activist group Anonymous. The Pentagon is worried about what has been dubbed “Operation Bradical” –  threats made in the name of the hactivist group Anonymous against the Quantico Virgina base where suspected Wikileaks whistle-blower Private Bradley Manning is currently being held.

The Pentagon fears the loose Internet collective known as Anonymous will stage some sort of cyber attack (Operation Bradical) against those responsible for detaining Manning in a Quantico military brig, keeping him in solitary confinement and forcing him to strip nightly and stand at attention naked each morning.

Private Bradley Manning is a US soldier suspected of giving documents to WikiLeaks. Manning is charged with stealing classified files and is suspected as the source for numerous secret documents published on the WikiLeaks website in recent months.

The WikiLeaks incident has infuriated and embarrassed US officials. Many feel Manning is being treated in a cruel and inhumane way by U.S. authorities because of the embarrassing and damning revelations made possible by Manning’s alleged contributions to WikiLeaks

Andy Greenberg at Forbes reports:

In a crowdsourced document used to coordinate the group’s actions, Anonymous hackers name Department of Defense Press Secretary Geoff Morell and chief warrant officer Denise Barnes as targets and call on members to dig up personal information on both, including phone numbers, personal histories and home addresses. The goal of the operation, for now, is to “dox” the two officials, the typical Anonymous method of publishing personal information of victims and using it for mass harassment.

“Targets established,” reads the document, before naming Morell and Barnes. “We’re in the ruining business. And business is good.”

CIA Director Leon Panetta Warns of Possible Cyber-Pearl Harbor

February 15, 2011 Comments off

Top Intelligence-Security Officials Say Computer Attacks Increasing

By JASON RYAN

Top U.S. intelligence officials have raised concerns about the growing vulnerability the United States faces from cyberwarfare threats and malicious computer activity that CIA Director Leon Panetta said “represents the battleground for the future.”

“The potential for the next Pearl Harbor could very well be a cyber-attack,” he testified on Capitol Hill Thursday before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also appeared, telling the committee, “This threat is increasing in scope and scale, and its impact is difficult to overstate.”

There are roughly 60,000 new malicious computer programs identified each day, Clapper said, citing industry estimates.

“Some of these are what we define as advanced, persistent threats, which are Read more…