cyber threats

We’ve heard national security leaders at the highest levels say it repeatedly: we are not prepared for cyber war.

Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, made it clear when he rated America’s readiness for addressing a catastrophic cyber attack “three on a scale of ten.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has discussed the imminent threats of a breach that “shuts down part of the nation’s infrastructure in such a fashion that it results in a loss of life.” And Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has often been quoted saying that a large-scale attack on our critical infrastructure could wreak havoc on a scale “equivalent to Pearl Harbor.” Keep reading →

A new report on data breaches and cyber crimes highlights a disturbing rate of intellectual property theft, much of which happens from within organizations, making it increasingly difficult to protect against across a range of industries.

The “Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report,” due to be released by Verizon on Wednesday, pulls together analysis from the U.S. Secret Service, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, the Australian Federal Police, the Irish Reporting & Information Security Service and the Police Central e-Crime Unit of the London Metropolitan Police. Keep reading →

“The United States has built the most powerful military the world has ever seen, but we are not invincible. Information technology is a both an essential enabler of American power, but it is also our Achilles heel. And that’s why this project is so important,” said Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, referring to a new cybersecurity research center opened by L-3 and Virginia Tech in Arlington, Va., Oct. 5.

“Cyberspace is the soft underbelly of American power,” said Moran, who called the need for more effective solutions for cyberspace an “urgent national priority.” Keep reading →

The FBI’s cyber chief issued a warning last week that the agency is beginning to see increased targeting of mobile devices, including smart phones and tablet computers, by sophisticated cyber criminal organizations.

Speaking at the annual GovSec Conference in Washington, D.C., April 3, Gordon M. Snow, the FBI’s Assistant Director in charge of its Cyber Division, said the new mobile attack trend is likely to increase in the near future as the number of smart phones and tablets skyrocket. Keep reading →

The Stuxnet computer worm that damaged Iranian nuclear facilities – widely suspected to be an Israeli or even U.S. covert action – was a model of a responsibly conducted cyber-attack, said the top lawyer for the U.S. military’s Cyber Command, Air Force Col. Gary Brown. By contrast, the Chinese stance, which holds that the international law of armed conflict does not apply in cyberspace, opens the door for indiscriminate online actions launched with less concern for collateral damage than was evident in Stuxnet, he warned, while a joint Russo-Chinese proposal for international collaboration on cyber-security could potentially threaten free speech.

Brown emphasized that his remarks represented his own opinion and that he was not speaking for the U.S. government, but they still open a window into the thinking of an influential official on the cutting edge of policymaking on cyber war. Keep reading →

Terrorist groups have primarily used physical attack modalities in their efforts to undermine society. Those methods now include cyber attacks.

International sources have released information that British intelligence services have intercepted communications–that they term chatter–that suggest terrorist may be planning a cyber attack on British infrastructure.

As Britain has modernized over the years they have become much more reliant on computer, digital communications and networks. That reliance is very tempting to adversaries. The face of terrorism has continued to change year after year. They adapt, innovate and morph their strategies and tactics. Keep reading →

Last week word began filtering out about a suspected cyber attack on a water treatment system in Illinois. After a preliminary investigation into a pump failure, the issue quickly became a cyber incident.

Further analysis suggests that the actual breach and malicious activities began a couple of months ago. Workers at the water treatment facility determined the system had been hacked and the IP address used to carry out the cyber sabotage was tracked back to a computer in Russia. Keep reading →

Day after day the threats we are exposed to in cyber space grow. Just recently Panda Security announced they processed their 200 millionth malware file. Just think about that for a moment, 200 million individual pieces of malware.

The company went on to say that cyber intelligence automatically detects, analyzes and classifies more than 73,000 new malware strains a day. That clearly illustrates the continuous change that goes on in the cyber threat environment. Keep reading →

Report after report has been generated and multiple warnings have been issued about the threat to the U.S. economy from intellectual property theft.

One recent report, from a publication published last month by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive suggests that the economic dollar losses for research and development data theft could be as high as $398 billion. Keep reading →

The level of threat from cyber attacks has been the subject of controversy for years. However, just recently, multiple officials who are in the know have publically stated that the threat posed by cyber attacks is very real and went on to state that such an attack could potentially be not that far away.

In my most recent blogs, I made the distinction that cyber attacks are much more serious than cyber threats. If someone puts a piece of code on your system that exfiltrates data or information, disrupts, destroys or otherwise harms your computer, device, network, applications or data–that would be considered an attack. Keep reading →

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