Russia’s Holding Back Cyber Capabilities in Ukraine

There is a big difference between the known capabilities of Russian hackers — such as cyber espionage — and the debilitating software the country actually possesses, which could hamper U.S. efforts to predict Putin’s next move, say some security researchers.

So, far Russia’s alleged cyber operations amid unrest in Ukraine have caused more spectacle than destruction. Reportedly a “massive denial-of-service attack” paralyzed Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council servers for several hours last week, but such temporary traffic floods cannot access data or damage systems.

This doesn’t mean Russia can’t carry out a cyberattack that would physically or economically damage Ukrainian citizens.  Continue reading

Iranian Cyber Attacks Step Up

The Iranian government recently conducted a major cyber attack on a major U.S. financial institution that a military intelligence report said is a sign Tehran is waging covert war against the West.

The cyber attack was not successful but was one of several Iranian-backed electronic strikes detected in recent months that highlights the growing threat from Tehran, a major backer of international terrorism, according to a recent report by the Joint Staff intelligence directorate, known as J-2.

No other details were available on the previously undisclosed attempted Iranian financial cyber attack.

A Joint Staff spokesman declined to comment.

In the past, China and Russia were singled out as major nation-state cyber threats, using their militaries and intelligence services to conduct sophisticated cyber-espionage and preparation for future cyber sabotage in a conflict.

Now, Iran is emerging as a strategic threat to U.S. cyber systems that control critical infrastructure such as military systems, financial networks, communications, the electrical power grid, transportation networks, and other vital functions.

“They’re technically proficient, well-funded, and have placed a top priority on cyber defense and offense thanks in large part to the high number of sophisticated malware discovered on their oil and energy networks,” said Jeffrey Carr, a cyber warfare specialist.

Full article: Iranian Cyber Attacks Step Up (Washington Free Beacon)