Archive for the ‘cyber war’ Category

Chinese Hackers Routinely Attack U.S. Computers

February 13, 2009

Chinese government and freelance hackers are the primary culprits behind as many as several hundred daily attacks against U.S. government, electric-utility and financial computer networks, a senior congressman said.

“Sophisticated hackers could really wreak havoc on our financial systems if they were successful,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said in an interview. The threat is “primarily from China.”

By Jeff Bliss
Bloomberg

While cyber plots to disrupt U.S. computer networks have been thwarted, significant vulnerabilities exist, said Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat.

Many of these problems will be detailed in a 60-day review the Obama administration on Feb. 9 said it would conduct on government cyber-security efforts, Thompson said. President Barack Obama also has said he would appoint a computer-security chief who will report directly to him, a move Thompson supports.

Currency trading is among the financial networks targeted by hackers, Thompson said. An attack would be particularly damaging in light of the financial system’s troubled state, he said.

He said electric utilities’ networks also have several points of weakness.

“We were provided alarming data on the vulnerability of our electrical grid in this country,” he said.

China’s Denial

Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., denied that the Chinese government was attacking U.S. computer systems.

“Allegations that the Chinese government is behind cyber attacks against the U.S. computer networks are totally unwarranted and misleading for the America public,” Wang said in an e-mailed statement.

Wang said the Chinese government is “cracking down” on computer hacking and other cyber crimes.

Thompson, during the interview, touched on topics ranging from immigration legislation to terrorism. He called a “cheap shot” former Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion in an interview Feb. 3 that Obama’s policies make a terrorist attack more likely.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=20601087&sid=aP7TPl_IQwFQ&refer=
worldwide

Advertisements

Chertoff Says Cyber Threat Increasing

December 20, 2008

Following a two-day wargame exercise on cyber-security issues, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today said that no one person should be in charge of cyber-security, despite the growing and emerging future threats.

By Jason Ryan
ABC News
.
“As we look at this threat, [it] is clearly only intensifying over time,” Chertoff said. “A system where one agency sits over everything, military and civilian, is not usually one that has been regarded favorably by the American public.”

Chertoff urged that the existing cyber-security strategy developed and shared by the Pentagon, Homeland Security and the FBI be continued by the incoming Obama administration. “I’m sure this is going to be a major area of focus of the new administration,” he told the Cyber Strategic Inquiry 2008 Conference in Washington, D.C., which was organized by the government consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and Business Executives for National Security. “And we obviously want to work with them to help them get the benefit of what we’ve done and whatever advice they seek from us.”

US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael ...
Michael Chertoff, Director, Homeland Security says cyber security is an ever increasing problem.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Read the rest:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6491376&page=1

U.S. “Highly Vulnerable” To Cyber attack, Especially Military, Government

December 11, 2008

Center for Cybersecurity Operations is proposed to protect military, government, and corporate electronics from criminals and other nations….

The U.S. faces a cybersecurity threat of such magnitude that the next President should move quickly to create a Center for Cybersecurity Operations and appoint a special White House advisor to oversee it.

Those are among the recommendations in a 44-page report by the U.S. Commission on Cybersecurity. The bipartisan panel includes executives, high-ranking military officers and intelligence officials, leading specialists in computer security, and two members of Congress.

To compile the report, which is entitled “Securing Cyberspace in the 44th Presidency,” commission members say they reviewed tens of thousands of pages of undisclosed documentation, visited forensics labs and the National Security Agency, and were briefed in closed-door sessions by top officials from Pentagon, CIA and British spy agency MI5. From their research, they concluded that the U.S. badly needs a comprehensive cybersecurity policy to replace an outdated checklist of security requirements for government agencies under the existing Federal Information Security Management Act.

The report calls for the creation of a Center for Cybersecurity Operations that would act as a new regulator of computer security in both the public and private sector. Active policing of government and corporate networks would include new rules and a “red team” to test computers for vulnerabilities now being exploited with increasing sophistication and frequency by identity and credit card thieves, bank fraudsters, crime rings, and electronic spies.

By Keith Epstein
Provided by

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 
The leader of these Chinese hackers says there “is always a weakness” on networks that allows cyber break-ins. 
.
“We’re playing a giant game of chess now and we’re losing badly,” says commission member Tom Kellermann, a former World Bank security official who now is vice president of Security Awareness at Core Security.

Obama seems on board

Kellermann should know: He had a hand in crafting the nation’s cybersecurity strategy in 2003. But as he tells it, government efforts led by the Homeland Security Dept. have been stymied by bureaucratic confusion and an unwillingness by agencies and corporations to share information about cyber break-ins.

The commission’s report catalogues incidents afflicting financial institutions, large corporations, and government agencies, including some first detailed publicly over the last year in various BusinessWeek articles. In an ominous note for the private sector, the commission notes that “senior representatives from the intelligence community told us they had conclusive evidence covertly obtained from foreign sources that U.S. companies have lost billions in intellectual property.” (For more on the spread of malicious software, read the New York Times article, “Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe Even in Your Computer.” )

Read the rest:
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnfla
sh/content/dec2008/db2008127_817606.ht
m?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+tem
p_dialogue+with+readers

Panel urges Obama to consider hacker-response plan

December 8, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama should create a new White House office to protect cyberspace from hackers, thieves and foreign agents, coordinating security efforts across U.S. military, intelligence and civilian agencies, according to a new report from a panel of leading government and industry experts.

The report, expected to be made public Monday on Capitol Hill, also urges Obama’s new administration and Congress to pass new laws to allow for speedier investigations — and in some cases quicker retaliation once intruders are identified. It proposed online “data warrants,” for example, rather than traditional search warrants, which it said “may be increasingly impracticable in the online environment.”

The official website of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President

The official website of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President, was under external control since shortly before Russia’s armed intervention last August

Chances are good Obama will be receptive to many of the proposals: At least five members of the panel that produced the report also are working for his presidential transition team. They include former White House official Paul Kurtz, advising Obama on national security matters, and Obama technology advisers Dan Chenok and Bruce McConnell.

“Responding to a cyber attack is a tough issue,” said James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank that organized the commission. “Do operators respond with law enforcement, espionage or military actions? The guidelines are really unclear. The rules designed in the 1980s are slow, and the Internet is fast.”

–Associated Press

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081208/ap_o
n_hi_te/obama_hackers