Former Intel Committee Head: Iran now a ‘world class’ cyber threat
Iran has emerged as a leading cyber threat and has already hacked into the U.S. defense establishment and financial institutions, likely with the help of the Russians, according to a former chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Iran has boosted its cyber capabilities in a “surprisingly” short amount of time and possesses the ability to launch successful cyber attacks on American financial markets and its infrastructure, former Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R., Mich.) told a panel of lawmakers on Tuesday.
The Iranian regime’s emergence as a “world class” cyber threat likely has to do with its close ties to Russia, according to Hoekstra, who warned during a hearing on Iran’s global terror activities that the two countries will only boost coordination on the cyber front in the coming months. Continue reading
The following is the transcript of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s opening statement regarding threats to our nation’s power grid.
Welcome to a special edition of Justice – I’m Judge Jeanine Pirro. Tonight – an hour long investigation into the dangers facing the U.S. power grid. What would it take to bring it down? And if our system did break down – how would you survive? And what would it be like in the dark? Continue reading
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.
Merkel said in her weekly podcast that she disapproved of companies such as Google and Facebook basing their operations in countries with low levels of data protection while being active in countries such as Germany with high data protection. Continue reading
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has delivered a sabre-rattling speech to Iran’s ‘Revolutionary foster children’ (in other words, university students) to prepare for cyber war.
The supreme leader has urged his country’s students – whom he called “cyber war agents” – to prepare for battle, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Wednesday.
“You are the cyber-war agents and such a war requires Amman-like insight and Malik Ashtar-like resistance. Get yourself ready for such war wholeheartedly,” wrote Khamenei. The supreme leader was referring to two of Prophet Mohammad’s warrior companions in early Islamic history. Continue reading
There was a startling revelation from Senator Mark Warner. Basically, he admitted that there was more to the hacking of 100-million+ Americans credit cards than meets the eye. Here are some comments from CNBC:
Transcript: ”In all this, we got a hint yesterday from senator Mark Warner from Virginia who suggested that U.S. Intelligence knows a lot more about this hack attack problem than it can say publicly. Take a listen to Mark Warner yesterday –‘Quite honestly, I think we’re going to see and I know from my role in the intel community this is a crime that happens daily to financial institutions, retailers at a level that frankly, if most Americans realized, I think would find rather confounding.’ So, Warner suggesting there that U.S. Intelligence knows more about this than American consumers do.”
Now, pair this statement regarding Target with comments from General Keith Alexander on 60 Minutes as reported in Forbes: Continue reading
DHS, DOJ, DOD, EPA, NASA, Energy, State routinely hacked
A new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) details widespread cybersecurity breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation’s most sensitive information.
The report, released on Tuesday, found that approximately 40 percent of breaches go undetected, and highlighted “serious vulnerabilities in the government’s efforts to protect its own civilian computers and networks.” Continue reading
Belarus is a puppet regime of Russia, today’s neo-Soviet Union. Cyber attack units and other state-sponsored units of terrorism are outsourced here (among other neighboring countries), in order to keep blame off the Soviet regime. As we see from a previous post, nuclear weapons might get the green light to be stored there, as in the past. One can only wonder why Belerusians were sourced in the development of ACA software. They might have planted an ability to shut down hospitals in the futue.
U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.
The intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of the Healthcare.gov network, about their concerns last week. Specifically, officials warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected of inserting malicious code that could be used for cyber attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the concerns.
The software links the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare to the federal government and more than 300 medical institutions and healthcare providers.
“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks,” one official said. Continue reading
Consensus is growing that the U.S. electricity grid is vulnerable to both hacking and physical attacks, but protecting it remains a work in progress—especially given the spending that would be necessary by financially stretched utilities.
M. Granger Morgan, the head of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, told CNBC that a physical attack on the grid poses a “much greater threat” than a cyberattack. Still, he added that vulnerabilities within the technological network of the power system itself require “real and urgent attenuation.” Continue reading
In room-size metal boxes secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.
According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md. Continue reading
The year was 1914. The world was experimenting with economic globalisation.
Optimists believed this new world economy would eliminate war.
But the concept proved to be in conflict with old notions of empire and fresh attitudes of expansionism. Continue reading
When U.S. officials warn about “attacks” on electric power facilities these days, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a computer hacker trying to shut the lights off in a city with malware. But a more traditional attack on a power station in California has U.S. officials puzzled and worried about the physical security of the the electrical grid–from attackers who come in with guns blazing.
Around 1:00 AM on April 16, at least one individual (possibly two) entered two different manholes at the PG&E Metcalf power substation, southeast of San Jose, and cut fiber cables in the area around the substation. That knocked out some local 911 services, landline service to the substation, and cell phone service in the area, a senior U.S. intelligence official told Foreign Policy. The intruder(s) then fired more than 100 rounds from what two officials described as a high-powered rifle at several transformers in the facility. Ten transformers were damaged in one area of the facility, and three transformer banks — or groups of transformers — were hit in another, according to a PG&E spokesman. Continue reading
For more on SCADAs, please see the following previous posts:
The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.
In January 2010, numerous homeowners in San Antonio, Texas, stood baffled in front of their closed garage doors. They wanted to drive to work or head off to do their grocery shopping, but their garage door openers had gone dead, leaving them stranded. No matter how many times they pressed the buttons, the doors didn’t budge. The problem primarily affected residents in the western part of the city, around Military Drive and the interstate highway known as Loop 410. Continue reading