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Infrastructure vulnerable to hacks

Idan Udi Edry, chief executive officer of the Israeli cyber security firm Nation-E, says critical U.S. infrastructure sites such as the electric grid, water system and other sectors are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks due to a key vulnerability: industrial operational technology (OT) that is different and less advanced than traditional information technology (IT). “When you have an existing IT network and now you are connecting the OT part into the existing network, all of a sudden you’ve created millions of points that are completely vulnerable for cyber attacks,” Mr. Edry told…

German nuclear plant infected with computer viruses,

A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station’s operator said on Tuesday. The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE (RWEG.DE). The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualization software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel…

DHS urges ‘whitelisting’ programs to protect industrial controlers

The Department of Homeland Security is recommending that stakeholders involved in protecting critical infrastructure from cyber attacks should apply “application whitelisting” to protect remote controlled networks. The use of the technique can detect and prevent attempted malware attacks by sophisticated adversaries that increasingly have targeted networks controlling infrastructures like the electric power grid, water management and other infrastructures. “While not a cure-all, properly configured [application whitelisting] should be an integral component of a defense-in-depth solution,” the report, produced by DHS and National Security Agency security experts, says Full report… (pdf) Department of Homeland Security

Lithuanian parliament hit by cyber attack

During a gathering of World Congress of Crimean Tatars and an international conference on Mass Violations of Human Rights in Occupied Crimea on Monday April 11, the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) website suffered a cyber attack. The attack meant that the broadcast of the event was unable for viewers outside of Lithuania. Parliamentary speaker, Loreta Grauzinenie, claimed it was the first attack of its kind on the Seimas. According to Rimtautas Cerniauskas, the head of Lithuania’s National Cyber Security Centre, the attack is now over and the website is functioning without any problems.…

China hacked F-22, F-35 secrets

A Chinese businessman pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to hack computer networks of U.S. defense contractors and obtain sensitive data on military aircraft that was passed on to China. Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, reached a plea deal in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, following a 2014 criminal complaint and later indictment for illegal computer hacking and theft and transfer of export-controlled data. The plea deal includes an admission by Su of conspiring with two people in China from October 2008 to March…

Motor vehicles vulnerable to remote hacking

The FBI is warning that motor vehicles are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. The Bureau stated in a March 17 notice that hackers can gain “significant control” over vehicles by exploiting wireless communications vulnerabilities. “While the identified vulnerabilities have been addressed, it is important that consumers and manufacturers are aware of the possible threats and how an attacker may seek to remotely exploit vulnerabilities in the future,” the alert stated. “Third party aftermarket devices with Internet or cellular access plugged into diagnostics ports could also introduce wireless vulnerabilities.” New technologies used in vehicles include…

Cybercom sounds alarm on infrastructure attacks

The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command warned Congress this week that Russia and China now can launch crippling cyberattacks on the electric grid and other critical infrastructures. “We remain vigilant in preparing for future threats, as cyberattacks could cause catastrophic damage to portions of our power grid, communications networks and vital services,” Adm. Mike Rogers, the Cyber Command chief, told a Senate hearing. “Damaging attacks have already occurred in Europe,” he stated, noting suspected Russian cyberattacks that temporarily turned out the lights in portions of Ukraine. Adm. Rogers said that unlike…

Carter on Chinese cyber attacks

During a troop talk aboard the aircraft carrier USS Stennis last week, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was asked by one sailor what the Pentagon was doing to prevent cyberattacks from China. “China is one of actually many countries that we have found engaging in cyber misbehavior,” Mr. Carter said. The defense secretary then said he does not like using the term “cyberattack” because “some of it is about robbing industrial secrets and that sort of thing.” “Actually, we may have made some progress forward,” Mr. Carter said, “because when the two presidents were…