A malware-laden flash drive inserted in a laptop at a U.S. military base in the Middle East in 2008 led to the "most significant breach of" the nation's military computers ever, according to a new magazine article by a top defense official. The malware uploaded itself to the U.S. Central Command network and spread undetected on classified and unclassified computers creating a "digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control," William J. Lynn III, U.S. deputy secretary of defense, wrote in his essay in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs. ZDNet's Ryan Naraine was one of the first to report on the flash drive crisis: Under worm attack, US Army bans USB drives "It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary," he wrote. This previously classified incident was the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever, and it … [Read more...] about Infested flash drive caused worst U.S. military breach
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Hackers claiming to be linked to the Islamic State terrorist group have attacked the U.S. Central Command's social media accounts. On Monday, as President Obama was giving a speech on cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington D.C., the attackers took control of the @CENTCOM account. The hackers, who call themselves the "CyberCaliphate," tweeted photos and links to a Pastebin post, offering download links to files it says were stolen from the military agency's networks. "We broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you," the hackers wrote. "ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base." Files allegedly stolen by the hackers are dated as far back as 2005, with some more recent. About two-dozen files in separate folders, ranging from PowerPoint slides to Adobe PDF documents, are either marked "for official use only" or unmarked. It does not appear that any classified documents have been stolen from the military agency, … [Read more...] about Pro-ISIS hackers claim breach at U.S. Central Command
With cyber attacks on companies and institutions hitting the headlines at an increasing rate, and online criminals getting ever bolder in their behavior, the U.S. and U.K. governments are to take joint action in a bid to shore up their respective defenses and deal with the issue head-on.Meeting in Washington this week, President Obama and his British counterpart, David Cameron, are expected to announce more details about the initiative at an event on Friday.The first of the ‘cyber war games,’ which the leaders see as part of an effort to protect critical infrastructure such as the energy, transport and financial sectors, is likely to take place later this year, with a simulated attack on each country’s financial centers. The exercise, which will be carried out with the full co-operation of Wall Street and the Bank of England, as well as other institutions, will be organized by a newly formed “cyber cell” operated by both nations.Speaking ahead of … [Read more...] about U.S. and U.K. to stage ‘cyber war games’ to fight attacks by hackers and terrorists
Unknown hackers claiming to be Islamic State (ISIS) militant supporters took over the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts briefly on January 12. The two websites moved quickly to suspend the compromised accounts and prevent further posts. Meanwhile, the U.S. government confirmed the hacks, but stated that no sensitive information was leaked.The White House is currently monitoring the hack and seeking out those responsible. Two U.S. defense officials told Reuters the attack is an embarrassment, but not a threat to the country or its service members. Updated on 01-13-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added President Barack Obama’s response to the hack.“We can confirm that the CENTCOM Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today. We are taking appropriate measures to address the matter,” Central Command said in a statement.President Barack Obama was giving a speech on the importance of cyber security and data protection around the same … [Read more...] about Obama calls for tighter cyber security after U.S. Central Command Twitter hack
In his new book, Cyber War, Richard Clarke says nations are building up their online armies and weapons largely far from public view, increasing the danger of a deliberate or accidental cyberwar, which in turn could trigger violent conflicts across the globe. Slideshow: Quiz: Separate Cyber Security Fact From Fiction"Cyber war has already begun," Clarke writes. "In anticipation of hostilities, nations are already preparing the battlefield.' They are hacking into each other's networks and infrastructures, laying in trapdoors and logic bombs -- now, in peacetime. This ongoing nature of cyberwar, the blurring of peace and war, adds a dangerous new dimension of instability."The United States, he says, has a weak cyber-defense posture and should make radical changes, such as regulating ISPs to be able to play a role, under government supervision, in defending the country should a serious cyberattack strike. Is the U.S. the nation most vulnerable to cyberattack?Clarke, turning 60 this … [Read more...] about ‘Cyber War’ Author: U.S. Needs Radical Changes to Protect Against Attacks
Although U.S. military networks are attacked all the time, it took a successful thumb-drive assault on the Pentagon in 2008 to convince the U.S. military to do revise its cybersecurity strategy, according to a published report. Slideshow: Quiz: Separate Cyber Security Fact From FictionThe attack, which planted malicious software within the Defense Department's Central Command, could deliver U.S. military operational plans to foreign servers, according to an article in the Washington Post Wednesday. The story is based on an article scheduled to be published later today in Foreign Affairs journal. In cyberwar, who's in charge?The author of the Foreign Affairs article, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III, says the incident led to the current Pentagon strategy of "active defense", which features enhanced ways to find network intruders.In addition to the 2008 attack, Lynn says counterfeit networking gear capable of manipulating the network from outside had also been discovered, … [Read more...] about Pentagon Official Details U.S Military Net Hack
The international collective known as Anonymous is trying to figure out just what U.S. Central Command wants with software that can create and manage phony identities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks.The international collective known as Anonymous is trying to figure out just what U.S. Central Command wants with software that can create and manage phony identities on social networks.Called Operation Metal Gear, the effort is aimed at shining light on software that that has the potential to set up phony Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts and could help operatives manage them so they seem like they were set up by real people, with the apparent object of influencing and gathering data about the actual real people they friend.ADVICE: 7 ways to avoid getting hacked by AnonymousAnonymous members say they think the software can be used as a tracking and infiltration mechanism on social media sites, both to build profiles of actual members and to … [Read more...] about Anonymous: Why does U.S. Central Command want to create phony online identities?
Supporters of the extremist group known as ISIS or the Islamic State apparently took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts on Monday of the U.S. Central Command, a top military security unit.Phone numbers of top military officers and what the hackers said were classified documents were posted on Centcom’s Twitter feed, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The Twitter feed for Centcom, which is responsible for U.S. security interests in 20 nations stretching through the Arabian Gulf region into Central Asia, has since been suspended.At least two videos uploaded to the unit’s YouTube account on Monday appeared related to ISIS. One had the title, “Flames of War ISIS Video.” Those videos have also been taken down.“We are aware of the issue and are looking into it,” a Centcom spokesman told IDG News Service.“We can confirm that the Centcom Twitter and YouTube accounts were compromised earlier today,” Centcom later said in an … [Read more...] about U.S. military Twitter, YouTube accounts apparently hacked by ISIS
The official Twitter account for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) was compromised Monday afternoon, by attackers claiming to support the terrorist group ISIS.In a series of messages posted to the compromised account, the attackers published images of documents, which were allegedly taken from hijacked mobile devices.The person(s) claiming responsibility for the attack later posted a warning to American soldiers on Pastebin, that ISIS was already in their PCs, and that the Pentagon networks were hacked.The statement:"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate under the auspices of ISIS continues its CyberJihad. While the US and its satellites kill our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you. You'll see no mercy infidels. ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base. With Allah's permission we are in CENTCOM now. We won't stop! We know everything about … [Read more...] about U.S. CENTCOM Twitter Feed Compromised by ‘Cyber Jihadists’
Throughout history, men and women have answered the call. Is this yet again one of those times?Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a directive in June of 2009, creating U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). The military unit was assigned the following mission: "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes, and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks. And when directed, conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."Getting past the military-speak, USCYBERCOM is responsible for defending the digital assets of the United States. USCYBERCOM was to be fully operational by October 1, 2010.In military parlance, Initial Operational Capacity (IOC) was finally achieved on May 21, 2010. As with any complex endeavor, there are bound to be delays. But, one of the reasons put … [Read more...] about Should the U.S. draft cybersecurity experts?