Posts Tagged cyber warfare

Chinese Hacking Team Caught Taking Over Decoy Water Plant

From: MIT

A hacking group accused of being operated by the Chinese army now seems to be going after industrial control systems.

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Iran Stages ‘Cyber Warfare Drill’

From: Arutz Sheva

Iran has combined cyber warfare tactics and maritime war games in a drill for the first time as it stages maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

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Preparing for Cyber War, Without a Map

From: MIT

The U.S. government has pledged to retaliate quickly if power grids or other critical elements of infrastructure are hacked—but the technology needed to do so is lacking.

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Islamist group warns of new cyber attacks on U.S. banks

From: Raw Story

DUBAI — An Islamist group on Tuesday said it will carry out new cyber attacks on US banking targets, according to SITE Intelligence Group, following similar attacks last week in response to an anti-Islam film.

In a statement a group of hackers calling themselves the “Cyber Fighters of Izz al-Din al-Qassam” said they planned to attack the website of Wells Fargo bank on Tuesday, that of US Bank on Wednesday and the PNC Bank on Thursday, SITE said.

Last week the websites of US banks Chase (a JPMorgan Chase affiliate) and Bank of America suffered a suspected cyber attack following threats against them by the same group.

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Everyone Has Been Hacked. Now What?

From; Threat Level

On Apr. 7, 2011, five days before Microsoft patched a critical zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer that had been publicly disclosed three months earlier on a security mailing list, unknown attackers launched a spear-phishing attack against workers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. More

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Russian Hackers Attack Illinois Utility

From: PopSci

The Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center released a “Public Water District Cyber Intrusion” report on November 10 that indicates that hackers may have had access to the system since September. Hackers using Russian IP addresses hacked the software vendor that makes the system. They were then able to access the vendor’s database of usernames and passwords, and used the stolen credentials for remote access to the SCADA system’s network. These vendors keep records of their customer’s access information for maintenance and upgrading the systems.

Two to three months before the discovery of the hack, operators noticed “glitches” in the remote access to the SCADA system. “They just figured it’s part of the normal instability of the system,” said Joe Weiss, cybersecurity expert and managing partner at Applied Control Solutions, who obtained a copy of the report. “But it wasn’t until the SCADA system actually turned on and off that they realized something was wrong.”

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U.S. Military Goes Online to Rebut Extremists’ Messages

“…The government’s expanding efforts in computer-network warfare, offense and defense are among the most secret enterprises carried out by the military and intelligence community.

To counter the adversary’s use of the Internet, American cyberwarriors have hacked into extremist chat rooms to sow confusion, or to inject poisonous code to take down militant Web sites. Sometimes, they choose not to act, but silently track the online movements of jihadists to learn their plans.

In contrast, the Digital Engagement Team operates in total sunshine: all of the online postings carry an official stamp acknowledging sponsorship by Central Command.

…“You’ve heard of the Iron Curtain, of course,” Mr. Safavi said. “We’re here to pierce the Electronic Curtain because the military has decided that it cannot cede this information space to violent extremists.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/world/us-military-goes-online-to-rebut-extremists.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

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New Malware Brings Cyberwar One Step Closer

From: MIT
A newly discovered piece of malicious code dubbed Duqu is closely related to the notorious Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s nuclear-enrichment centrifuges last year. Although it has no known target or author, it sets the stage for more industrial and cyberwar attacks, experts say.

“This is definitely a troubling development on a number of levels,” says Ronald Deibert, director of Citizen Lab, an Internet think-tank at the University of Toronto who leads research on cyberwarfare, censorship, and espionage. “In the context of the militarization of cyberspace, policymakers around the world should be concerned.”

Indeed, the spread of such code could be destabilizing. The Pentagon’s cyberwar strategy, for example, makes clear that computer attacks on industrial and civilian infrastructure like chemical factories or power grids as well as military networks could be regarded as equivalent to a conventional bombing or other attack, if civilians were endangered.

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Cyber combat: act of war

From: WSJ via Kurzweil AI

Cyber combat: act of war

June 1, 2011

Source: Wall Street Journal — May 31, 2011

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, opening the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.

Pentagon officials believe the most sophisticated computer attacks require the resources of a government. For instance, the weapons used in an assault such as taking down a power grid would likely have been developed with state support.

Defense officials refuse to discuss potential cyber adversaries, although military and intelligence officials say they have identified previous attacks originating in Russia and China.

Read original article

Topics: Computers/Infotech/UI | Survival/Defense

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China and its Double-edged Cyber-sword

China and its Double-edged Cyber-sword is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Sean Noonan

A recent batch of WikiLeaks cables led Der Spiegel and The New York Times to print front-page stories on China’s cyber-espionage capabilities Dec. 4 and 5. While China’s offensive capabilities on the Internet are widely recognized, the country is discovering the other edge of the sword.

China is no doubt facing a paradox as it tries to manipulate and confront the growing capabilities of Internet users. Recent arrests of Chinese hackers and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) pronouncements suggest that China fears that its own computer experts, nationalist hackers and social media could turn against the government. While the exact cause of Beijing’s new focus on network security is unclear, it comes at a time when other countries are developing their own defenses against cyber attacks and hot topics like Stuxnet and WikiLeaks are generating new concerns about Internet security.

One of the U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks focuses on the Chinese-based cyber attack on Google’s servers that became public in January 2010. According to a State Department source mentioned in one of the cables, Li Changchun, the fifth highest-ranking member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and head of the Party’s Propaganda Department, was concerned about the information he could find on himself through Google’s search engine. He also reportedly ordered the attack on Google. This is single-source information, and since the cables WikiLeaks released do not include the U.S. intelligence community’s actual analysis of the source, we cannot vouch for its accuracy. What it does appear to verify, however, is that Beijing is regularly debating the opportunities and threats presented by the Internet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cyber Warfare

From IDGA

Over the last year there have been multiple instances of breaches in cyber security in the DoD and government.  Most recently a report detailing the fact that in April massive amounts of internet data traffic was re-routed through servers in China which then had access to the potentially sensitive information.  The incident which lasted 18 minutes was traced back to China Telecom, a state owned telecommunications firm.  The data included information from .mil and .gov sources as well as large corporations such as Microsoft and IBM.

It is not clear if any compromising information was gained from this effort or how or if any of the gathered data will be used.  But it is concerning for many of the agencies and companies involved as they are unsure of where they stand or what could potentially be used against them in the future.

This is not an isolated incident and the U.S. government and the Pentagon have been battling cyber attacks, hacking, and other forms of internet crime for years now.  However, in the last several years these attacks are growing in number and sophistication and are resulting in security breaches that could have grave consequences.  Many seem to be coming from sources in Eastern Europe including Russia and an increasing number from China.  However, it is unclear whether these attacks can be linked to government intelligence networks or are a result of cyber terrorists operating on their own personal agenda.

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