China electronic spying threat

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met last week in Beijing. The delegation traveling on the E-4B plane with Mr. Mattis had to take extraordinary security precautions. (Associated Press) Photo by: Mark Schiefelbein

 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis‘ recent visit to China highlighted the security dangers posed by sophisticated Chinese electronic spying in the capital of Beijing.

Security precautions for those traveling with the defense secretary were extremely tight during his June 26-28 visit.

To prevent Chinese spying through cellphones or laptop computers, the 10 journalists traveling aboard the secretary’s Air Force E-4B nuclear command plane, a militarized Boeing 747, were prohibited from bringing any electronic devices that were taken off the aircraft during the two-day visit back onto the plane. Anything that used wireless connectivity was deemed potentially vulnerable to Chinese hacking. Continue reading

Your Friend and Neighbor

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VIENNA/BERLIN (Own report) – The United Nations is protesting against the surveillance of its Vienna-based institutions conducted for years by the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). The Vienna International Center (“UNO City”) “expects” that member states “respect the organization’s independence as well as the inviolability of its premises.” According to recent reports, from 1999 to 2006, the BND had monitored at least 2000 communication lines in Austria including those of the Vienna Chancellery and 128 telecommunication lines of the United Nations. The BND’s espionage in Austria has been known since 2015, but never clarified, because the competent German authorities, including the German Chancellery, refused to render Vienna the necessary assistance. The BND is accused of repeatedly refusing to tell the intelligence service monitors their reasons for spying, for example, on a “public body” of an EU member state. At the time of the large-scale spying in Austria, the current German President bore the highest responsibility for BND activities.

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FBI: Iran to Launch New Cyber Attacks

Iranian cyber attacks on institutions

 

Iranian hackers poised for wide-ranging strikes in retaliation for U.S. leaving nuclear deal

The FBI is warning that Iranian hackers could conduct new cyber attacks on American businesses and government networks in response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

“The FBI assesses foreign cyber actors operating in the Islamic Republic of Iran could potentially use a range of computer network operations—from scanning networks for potential vulnerabilities to data deletion attacks—against U.S.-based networks in response to the U.S. government’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the FBI said in a cyber alert to U.S. businesses. Continue reading

Could Russian Hackers Cause Power Outages In The U.S.?

 

Hackers believed to be allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be highly disruptive against the world’s electrical systems, researchers have reported.

The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride or Industroyer, is known to have disrupted the electrical system in Ukraine in December, briefly shutting down one-fifth of Kyiv’s electric power. Continue reading

Gertz on New Book ‘iWar’: U.S. Is ‘Totally Unaware’ of Extent of Information War Threat

 

Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz discussed his new book iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age during a radio interview with Ross Kaminsky on Tuesday. Continue reading

Foreign States Preparing Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure in Future War

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers / Getty Images

 

Rogers awaiting new Trump cyber policy

Foreign nations’ cyber intrusions into key infrastructure network are preparation for damaging attacks in a future conflict, the commander of Cyber Command told Congress Tuesday.

Adm. Mike Rogers, the commander who is also director of the National Security Agency, said one of his major concerns is cyber attacks on critical infrastructures used to run the electric grid, financial systems, communications networks, the transportation systems, and others. Continue reading

Iran Renews Destructive Cyber Attacks on Saudi Arabia

AP

Tehran strategy seeks takeover of oil-rich U.S. ally

After a four-year hiatus, Iran recently resumed destructive cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia in what U.S. officials say is part of a long-term strategy by Tehran to take over the oil-rich kingdom and regional U.S. ally.

Late last month, the Saudi government warned in a notice to telecommunications companies that an Iranian-origin malicious software called Shamoon had resurfaced in cyber attacks against some 15 Saudi organizations, including government networks. Continue reading

German submaker reveals it was hit by ‘massive’ cyberattack early this year

ThysenKrupp, a German conglomerate that produces submarines for Israel’s Navy, announced Thursday that its computer systems were attacked in the beginning of the year and that a great amount of technical and other data was stolen. Continue reading

Chinese Firm Behind Friday’s Internet Outage Slams Critics, Threatens Western Accusers With Lawsuits

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As we reported earlier today, according to Bloomberg, Internet-connected CCTV cameras made by a Chinese firm, Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology were infected with malware that allowed hackers to takeover “tens of millions” of devices and launch the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks which brought the internet across much of the US, and especially on the east coast, to a virtual crawl for hours on Friday.

As Bloomberg first reported, and many others confirmed, the company itself admitted its culpability, with the security camera maker saying “its products were used to launch a cyber-attack that severed internet access for millions of users, highlighting the threat posed by the global proliferation of connected devices. The attackers hijacked CCTV cameras made by Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co. using malware known as Mirai, the company said in an e-mailed statement. While Xiongmai didn’t say how many of its products had been infiltrated, all cameras made before September 2015 were potentially vulnerable.” Continue reading

Russian government admits agencies were hacked

The Russian government has announced that 20 different bodies within Russia, many of them government agencies, have been found with espionage malware lurking in their networks

The Russian government has been hacked, according to the state security agency, the FSB.

Malware was discovered on the systems of 20 organisations within Russia including several state agencies. Defence companies, scientific and military institutions and  “critical infrastructures” were also compromised. Continue reading

SCADA malware discovered in European energy company

For more information on this vulnerability, please refer to the SCADA/SCADAs tags.

A new piece of industrial control malware has been discovered. Dubbed SFG, Sentinel One Labs discovered the piece on the information networks of a yet-unnamed European energy company.

It appears quite sophisticated. It not only collects information on the infected system but opens a backdoor through which a destructive payload could be launched, “to potentially shut down an energy grid”. Continue reading

Nuclear power plant COMPROMISED: Fears grow as power plant affected by malware

Gundremmingen plant in southern Germany was found to be riddled with computer viruses, including those which would allow attackers remote access to equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods.

Viruses, known as W32.Ramnit and Conficker, were discovered at the plant, which is located 75 miles northwest of Munich.

W32.Ramnit has the potential to give an attacker remote control over a system when it is connected to the internet and is also designed to steal files from infected computers. Continue reading

Why Would We Sell one of our Stock Exchanges to China?

In the past, China has threatened to nuke the U.S. Dollar (which they are now doing, albeit slowly) and literally exterminate Americans on the homeland where they guaranteed hand-to-hand combat is around the corner.

You could always read the following for more proof:

War Is Not Far from Us and Is the Midwife of the Chinese Century

China’s Military Threatens America: ‘We Will Hurt You’

China’s leader is telling the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for war

It would be insane to let enemies of your nation inside the gate, but the United States did just that. You can only wonder if enemies were already inside the gate via fifth column and just let the rest of their team in.

Further thought on an earlier story:

 

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A frightening article in today’s UK Telegraph suggests that another financial crisis could destroy capitalism as we know it. Let that sink in. Our system is at risk, as it was in 2008. As a reminder, consider this C-SPAN  interview with Representative Paul Kanjorski, wherein he described how our entire system almost collapsed. He stated in a very matter of fact way that if the collapse had continued, it would have been the end of our economic system and our political system, again “as we know it.” Continue reading

Hackers Turn Ukrainian Infrastructure into ‘Powder Keg’

For more information on SCADAs, their vulnerabilities and exploitations, please see the SCADA tag.

An example article showing American vulnerability to SCADA attacks:

UPDATE 3: U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

 

Several attacks have already taken place against regional power plants in Ukraine, resulting in several short-term blackouts in December 2015. It was the first recorded case of power outages being caused by cyber attacks and originated from a type of malware known as BlackEnergy.

It is not clear who was behind the attacks but a military spokesperson stated last week that they were originating from Russia. Another type of malware has since been discovered by investigators looking into the December cyber attacks, although researchers say it is impossible to know how many systems are currently at risk. Continue reading

Russian cyber group seen preparing to attack banks

As described earlier in a previous post, these are essentially proxy groups with state backing. They create a group that allows for plausible deniability, showing no attributable activity.

 

A security firm is warning that a group of Russian hackers known for targeting military, government and media organizations is now preparing to attack banks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The group’s preparations, which have included writing new malware, registering domain names similar to those of intended targets, and setting up command-and-control servers, were discovered by analysts from security firm Root9B.

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