Cyberattack

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US Department of Transportation Seeking Help for Motor Vehicle Cybersecurity Safeguards

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center), today released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking to obtain informed views on the "perceived needs, prevailing practices, and lessons learned concerning the cybersecurity and safety of safety-critical electronic control systems used in various modes of transportation and other industry sectors."
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Obama Expected to Announce "Cyber Czar" in a Few Days

President Obama is expected to announce late this week that he will create a "cyber czar," a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation's government-run and private computer networks, according to people who have been briefed on the plan... The announcement will coincide with the long-anticipated release of a 40-page report that evaluates the government's cybersecurity initiatives and policies. more»

European Nations Simulate Cyberattack to Test Cyber Defences

Essential web services have come under simulated attack as European nations test their cyber defences. The first-ever cross-European simulation of an all out cyber attack was planned to test how well nations cope as the attacks slow connections. The simulation steadily reduced access to critical services to gauge how nations react. more»

NATO Nations Sign Agreement on Cyber Defense Center

Seven NATO nations gave their backing on Wednesday to a new cyber defense centre in Estonia, the ex-Soviet state which last year faced weeks of attacks on its Internet structure after a row with Russia. Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain agreed to help fund and staff the centre in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The United States will initially send an observer to the project, aimed at boosting defenses against such attacks. more»

NIST Issues Smart Grid Cybersecurity Guidelines

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued today its first Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security, which includes high-level security requirements, a framework for assessing risks, an evaluation of privacy issues at personal residences, and additional information for businesses and organizations to use as they craft strategies to protect the modernizing power grid from attacks, malicious code, cascading errors, and other threats. more»

UK Putting Cyber Attacks on an Equal Footing With Other Conflicts

'Cyber' soldiers will be put alongside conventional troops as the government puts cyber attacks on an equal footing with other conflicts. The news comes as US defence firm Lockheed Martin admitted it came under a significant cyber attack last week. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it will recruit hundreds of cyber experts to shore up UK defences. more»

Popular Mechanics on Vulnerability of US Infrastructure to a Major Cyberattack

The next world war might not start with a bang, but with a blackout. An enemy could send a few lines of code to control computers at key power plants, causing equipment to overheat and melt down, plunging sectors of the U.S. and Canadian grid into darkness. Trains could roll to a stop on their tracks, while airport landing lights wink out and the few traffic lights that remain active blink at random. In the silence and darkness, citizens may panic, or they may just sit tight and wait for it all to reboot. Either way, much of the country would be blind and unresponsive to outside events. And that might be the enemy's objective: Divert America's attention while mounting an offensive against another country... more»

If Obama Gets His Way, All Americans Would Have Broadband Internet Access

Barack Obama's Internet-fueled campaign has transformed the way Americans choose a president. Now, the president-elect's administration plans to change the way Americans -- and government -- use technology. If Obama gets his way, all Americans would have broadband Internet access, whether they live in big cities or remote villages. Online life would be safer, with better defenses against cybercriminals. And there would be greater access to government, with online services to let anyone question members of the president's cabinet or track every dime of the U.S. budget. "I think it's not going to happen in the first 100 days, but I think a lot of this can happen in the first term," Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, a media reform organization based in Washington, said. more»

C-SPAN Interview: Internet and Cybersecurity

C-SPAN interviews professor Gene Spafford from Purdue University on the topic of cybersecurity and how the current Internet is a conduit for all types of "cybercrime". He also talks about the much discussed article "A New Internet?" by John Markoff in the February 14, 2009, New York Times in which he was quoted. The piece argued for a new type of Internet that is more secure with the trade-off of users giving up more of their anonymity. Professor Spafford talks about alternative solutions and he responded to questions via telephone calls and email. more»

Hackers Penetrated Pentagon Computer Systems, Called Most Severe on US Military Network

Computer hackers suspected of working from Russia successfully penetrated Pentagon computer systems in one of the most severe cyber attacks on US military networks, according to reports. The electronic attack was so serious that Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chief of staff, briefed President George W Bush and Robert Gates, the defense secretary. "This one was significant, this one got our attention," said an official, speaking anonymously. more»

Attack Traffic: 10 Countries Source of Almost 75% of Internet Attacks

A recent quarterly report titled "State of the Internet" has been released by Akamai providing Internet statistics on the origin of Internet attack traffic, network outages and broadband connectivity levels around the world. According to the report, during the first quarter of 2008, attack traffic originated from 125 unique countries around the world. China and the United States were the two largest traffic sources, accounting for some 30% of traffic in total. The top 10 countries were the source of approximately three quarters (75%) of the attacks measured. Other observations include... more»

How a Resilient Society Defends Cyberspace

Seventy-five years ago today, on May 29th, 1934, Egyptian private radio stations fell silent, as the government shut them down in favor of a state monopoly on broadcast communication. Egyptian radio "hackers" (as we would style them today) had, over the course of about fifteen years, developed a burgeoning network of unofficial radio stations... It couldn't last. After two days of official radio silence, on May 31st, official state-sponsored radio stations (run by the Marconi company under special contract) began transmitting a clean slate of government-sanctioned programming, and the brief era of grass-roots Egyptian radio was over... more»

Bruce Schneier: The Threat of Cyberwar Grossly Exaggerated

Security expert Bruce Schneier in a blog post today writes: "It's about who is in charge of cyber security, and how much control the government will exert over civilian networks. And by beating the drums of war, the military is coming out on top. ... General Keith Alexander, the current commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, hypes it every chance he gets. This isn't just rhetoric of a few over-eager government officials and headline writers; the entire national debate on cyberwar is plagued with exaggerations and hyperbole." more»

US Bill to Prohibit So Called Internet "Kill Switch"

Grant Gross reporting from IDG News: "Three U.S. senators criticized for past legislation that would allow the president to potentially quarantine or shut down parts of the Internet during a major cyberattack have introduced a new bill that would put limits on that authority. The Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act, introduced late Thursday, would explicitly deny the president or other U.S. officials "authority to shut down the Internet." more»

Microsoft Investigating Windows DNS Server Attacks

Microsoft is investigating attacks exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows Server Domain Name System Service, as well as two types of hacks targeting Vista's OEM BIOS activation feature... "Our investigation reveals that this vulnerability could allow a criminal to run code in the security context of the Domain Name System Server Service, which by default runs as Local SYSTEM," a Microsoft spokesperson said. more»