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

Report: China’s Currency Will Diminish Dollar’s Role in International Trade

The Chinese government has taken steps to promote the international use of its currency, the renminbi, which will diminish the dollar’s role in international trade, according to a report from the Brookings Institution.

The steps China has taken to internationalize the renminbi have been gaining traction and the currency now represents the fifth-most important payment currency in the world. Continue reading

How Russian Hackers Stole the Nasdaq

In October 2010, a Federal Bureau of Investigation system monitoring U.S. Internet traffic picked up an alert. The signal was coming from Nasdaq (NDAQ). It looked like malware had snuck into the company’s central servers. There were indications that the intruder was not a kid somewhere, but the intelligence agency of another country. More troubling still: When the U.S. experts got a better look at the malware, they realized it was attack code, designed to cause damage.

As much as hacking has become a daily irritant, much more of it crosses watch-center monitors out of sight from the public. The Chinese, the French, the Israelis—and many less well known or understood players—all hack in one way or another. They steal missile plans, chemical formulas, power-plant pipeline schematics, and economic data. That’s espionage; attack code is a military strike. There are only a few recorded deployments, the most famous being the Stuxnet worm. Widely believed to be a joint project of the U.S. and Israel, Stuxnet temporarily disabled Iran’s uranium-processing facility at Natanz in 2010. It switched off safety mechanisms, causing the centrifuges at the heart of a refinery to spin out of control. Two years later, Iran destroyed two-thirds of Saudi Aramco’s computer network with a relatively unsophisticated but fast-spreading “wiper” virus. One veteran U.S. official says that when it came to a digital weapon planted in a critical system inside the U.S., he’s seen it only once—in Nasdaq.

The October alert prompted the involvement of the National Security Agency, and just into 2011, the NSA concluded there was a significant danger. A crisis action team convened via secure videoconference in a briefing room in an 11-story office building in the Washington suburbs. Besides a fondue restaurant and a CrossFit gym, the building is home to the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), whose mission is to spot and coordinate the government’s response to digital attacks on the U.S. They reviewed the FBI data and additional information from the NSA, and quickly concluded they needed to escalate. Continue reading

Cyber Jihad

Iran steps up cyber attacks on U.S. financial institutions

Iran is continuing aggressive cyber attacks against U.S. financial institutions and officials say the U.S. government has failed to take steps to halt the electronic strikes. Continue reading

Iran Strikes Back

At this pace, it’s only a matter of time an event this video portrays will happen again. One can only hope this time there will still be a safety net in place.

Iranian hackers took over a University of Michigan computer network during a massive cyber attack on U.S. financial systems last week that continued following comments on the strike by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

According to reports by a leading Internet security-monitoring firm, the cyber attacks against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and several other U.S. financial institutions began Oct. 8 when hackers gained control of the university’s College of Engineering network in Ann Arbor. 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)