JPMorgan, Four Other Banks Hit by Hackers: U.S. Official

Computer hackers targeted JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and at least four other banks in a coordinated attack on major financial institutions this month, according to a U.S. official.

The attack led to the theft of customer data that could be used to drain accounts, according to another person briefed by U.S. law enforcement. The two people, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is continuing, discussed the incident after Bloomberg News reported a breach on banks earlier today.

Hackers targeted customer and employee information, said a third person involved in the investigation, who was also briefed by the government. The theft involved gigabytes of data, said several people familiar with the attacks. The scale indicates a potential for significant financial fraud.

Most thefts of financial information involve retailers or personal computers of consumers. Stealing data from big banks is rare, because they have elaborate firewalls and security systems.

Continue reading

U.S. utility’s control system was hacked, says Homeland Security

(Reuters) – A sophisticated hacking group recently attacked a U.S. public utility and compromised its control system network, but there was no evidence that the utility’s operations were affected, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS did not identify the utility in a report that was issued this week by the agency’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT. Continue reading

The Nightmare of a Defenseless America

Ironically, the blizzard of YJ-82X cruise missiles launched from the Chinese subs lying off the coast of Baja California crossed the beach directly over the SEAL training complex on Coronado. America had decided that its special forces were a cheap substitute for the less glamorous hardware and formations that had traditionally been the foundation of American military power. Now, those elite warriors watched helplessly as the missiles roared overhead north toward the two carriers berthed at North Island.

Only the people lining the downtown San Diego waterfront saw what was happening, though local TV camera crews were filming the carnage live. Their stations tried to upload the footage to the network satellites but they could not connect. The satellites were gone, knocked out by Russian ASAT missiles.

The rest of America was oblivious to the catastrophe in San Diego, and the similar disaster in Norfolk. Continue reading

Is the West Finally Waking up to Reality? Is it Too Late?

When we first started writing this Blog in 2011, few ever considered economic warfare. When we pointed out Vladimir Putin’s threats against the dollar, few paid attention. When we explained the risk of EMP, few cared to listen. When we stated that World War 3 could be around the corner, few understood. But, over the past weeks we have seen a slow recognition of these realities. The unfortunate thing is that this recognition is only beginning. And the threat is escalating quickly.

Here are some of the headlines and excerpts from four critical articles over the past week. The first from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard explains the reality of economic warfare:

US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides Continue reading

This British businessman holds a key to reset the internet in case of a cyber attack

British businessman Paul Kane, a designated holder of one of just seven keys that can reboot the internet in times of crisis, has allowed cameras into his office. Continue reading

‘Our Death Toll Would Be Staggering': Judge Jeanine on Power Grid Threats

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

Double threat: US grid vulnerable on two fronts

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

Cyber attack ‘war game’ to test London banks

(Reuters) – Thousands of staff across dozens of London’s financial firms will be put through a “war game” scenario on Tuesday to test how well they can handle a major cyber attack.

In one of the largest exercises of its kind in the world, the test dubbed “Waking Shark II” will bombard firms with a series of announcements and scenarios, such as a major attack on computer systems hitting stock exchanges and unfolding on social media. Continue reading

Minister: Hezbollah has over 200,000 rockets

Terror group is capable of hitting any house in Israel, according to home front defense minister

“According to an IDF worst-case scenario, Israel could find itself under attack from thousands of rockets that could last three weeks,” he said at a conference at Bar-Ilan University, according to Israel Radio. “The Hezbollah organization has over 200,000 missiles capable of hitting any house in Israel.” Continue reading

Weekend Attacks on Arkansas’ Electric Grid Leave 10,000 Without Power; ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S.

Another interesting factor in attacks on the U.S. critical infrastructure is the exploiting of SCADAS. It’s been evidenced quite a few times that these have been compromised.

Here is one such example: UPDATE 3: U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

More than 10,000 people in Arkansas were dumped into a blackout Sunday following an attack on that state’s electric grid, the FBI said today, the third such attack in recent weeks. In August, a major transmission line in the region, around Cabot, Ark., was deliberately cut.

The FBI said that two power poles had been intentionally cut in Lonoke County on Sunday, resulting in the outage.

The FBI said it would pay a $25,000 reward for information about the attacks.

And for good reason. The FBI suspects these attacks are linked with a third incident in September. Continue reading

UK banks to stress test readiness for major cyberattack

Only days after the authorities gave UK-based banks a time limit to come up with cyberattack defence plans, details have emerged of a major stress test of current financial systems set for next month.

Dubbed ‘Operation Waking Shark 2′, according to The Daily Telegraph the test day will simulate a “severe” attack on payment providers, banks and markets to sniff out weaknesses in defence strategies, communications, and procedures. Continue reading

Napolitano warns large-scale cyberattack on US is inevitable (Video)

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned her successor on Tuesday to move quickly to prepare for an inevitable large-scale cyberattack against the United States.

Napolitano, delivering her farewell address at the National Press Club, said her successor should move fast to strengthen the nation’s cyber defenses. Continue reading

Vulnerable Military Satellites Creating a ‘Maginot Line’ in Space (Updated)

While the possibility of anti-satellite weapons, jamming and cyber-attacks aimed at the U.S. military’s fleets of communication satellites is making them vulnerable to adversaries, declining defense budgets constitute an equal threat to the space architecture the services rely upon, according to a report released July 24.

Like the Maginot Line that gave the French a false sense of security prior to the German Blitzkrieg in World War II, the U.S. military has assumed since the end of the Cold War that no one would dare launch an physical attack on its satellites because that would violate international norms. Just as the Germans did away with such niceties and invaded France through a neighboring country, an adversary could go after one of the military’s biggest Achilles’ heels, its space-based communication system, said Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and author of a new report, “The Future of Milsatcom.” Continue reading

Report: Syria cyber attacked Haifa’s water system

A senior Israeli official revealed on Saturday that Syria has attempted two weeks ago to launch a cyber attack against Haifa’s water system, in retaliation to the alleged Israeli attack in Damascus a month ago.

Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, said that Israeli critical infrastructures such as electricity, water and the stock exchange undergo hundreds of cyber attacks every minute. Continue reading