Tag Archives: president

[ISN] Intel Assessment: Weak Response to Breaches Will Lead to More Cyber Attacks

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/intel-assessment-obama-admin-response-to-cyber-encourages-more-attacks/ By Bill Gertz Follow @BillGertz Washington Free Beacon July 28, 2015 The United States will continue to suffer increasingly damaging cyber attacks against both government and private sector networks as long as there is no significant response, according to a recent U.S. intelligence community assessment. Disclosure of the intelligence assessment, an analytical consensus of 16 U.S. spy agencies, comes as the Obama administration is debating how to respond to a major cyber attack against the Office of Personnel Management. Sensitive records on 22.1 million federal workers, including millions cleared for access to secrets, were stolen by hackers linked to China’s government. U.S. officials familiar with the classified cyber assessment discussed its central conclusion but did not provide details. Spokesmen for the White House and office of the director of national intelligence declined to comment. Recent comments by President Obama and senior military and security officials, however, reflect the intelligence assessment. […]




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[ISN] Lizard Squad Hacker Who Shut Down PSN, Xbox Live, And An Airplane Will Face No Jail Time

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/07/09/lizard-squad-hacker-who-shut-down-psn-xbox-live-and-an-airplane-will-face-no-jail-time/ By Paul Tassi Contributor Forbes.com 7/09/2015 Last Christmas, a hacking collective known as the “Lizard Squad” managed to take down PSN and Xbox Live right as everyone was attempting to play their consoles during holiday, creating one of the worst outages in the history of either network. The attacks soon evolved into a more personal nature, targeting then-president of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley, which included posting his personal details and actually grounding an American Airlines flight he was on with a Twitter TWTR -1.15%-issued bomb threat. Since then, everyone has been wondering just who the members of Lizard Squad were and if they’d ever be brought to justice. Recently, one individual, 17 year-old Julius “zeekill” Kivimaki was identified, and after standing trial in his native Finland, has just been convinced of an incredible 50,700 charges of computer-related crimes. He will serve a two-year suspended sentence, and effectively face no jail time. If you imagine the general public might be upset about such a lax sentence, you’d be right, but no one is more angry than John Smedley himself, now leading Daybreak, the studio responsible for games like H1Z1 and Planetside 2. […]


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[ISN] Sony Pictures: Inside the Hack of the Century, Part 1

https://fortune.com/sony-hack-part-1/ By Peter Elkind Fortune.com June 25, 2015 A cyber-invasion brought Sony Pictures to its knees and terrified corporate America. The story of what really happened—and why Sony should have seen it coming. A special three-part investigation. On Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, a four-man team from Norse Corp., a small “threat-intelligence” firm based in Silicon Valley, arrived early for an 11:30 a.m. meeting on the studio lot of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City. They were scheduled to see Sony’s top cybersecurity managers to pitch Norse’s services in defending the studio against hackers, who had been plaguing Sony for years. After a quick security check at the front gate and then proceeding to the George Burns Building on the east side of the Sony lot, the Norse group walked straight into the unlocked first-floor offices of the information security department, marked with a small sign reading info sec. There was no receptionist or security guard to check who they were; in fact, there was no one in sight at all. The room contained cubicles with unattended computers providing access to Sony’s international data network. The visitors found their way to a small sitting area outside the office of Jason Spaltro, Sony’s senior vice president for information security, settled in, and waited. Alone. For about 15 minutes. “I got a little shocked,” says Tommy Stiansen, Norse’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “Their Info Sec was empty, and all their screens were logged in. Basically the janitor can walk straight into their Info Sec department.” Adds Mickey Shapiro, a veteran entertainment attorney who helped set up the meeting and was present that day: “If we were bad guys, we could have done something horrible.” […]


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[ISN] Cyber war in Ukraine: How NATO is helping the country defend itself against digital threats

http://www.zdnet.com/article/ukraines-cyber-warfare-how-nato-helps-the-country-defend-itself-against-digital-threats/ By Andrada Fiscutean Central European Processing ZDNet News June 11, 2015 Ukraine’s recent history has been dramatic, with border changes, riots, the occupation of government buildings, and bloodshed. Behind all this, a quiet conflict, free of gunfire but equally hard-fought, has been taking place in the online world. DDoS attacks and communications jamming has lead to misinformation in an already confused country. Now, North Atlantic Alliance nations are joining forces to help Ukraine protect its digital space. Albania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Turkey have offered financial or in-kind contributions to Ukraine’s Cyber Defense Trust Fund, a program agreed by world leaders during a NATO summit held last September in Wales. US president Barack Obama, British prime minister David Cameron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and French president François Hollande all participated. “The technical requirements for the implementation of this project have been set up and the negotiations for the necessary legal arrangements are at an advanced stage,” a NATO official in Brussels told ZDNet. “NATO needs to keep abreast of the rapidly changing threat landscape and to maintain a robust cyber-defence,” he added. […]


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[ISN] Report: Hack of government employee records discovered by product demo

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/06/report-hack-of-government-employee-records-discovered-by-product-demo/ By Sean Gallagher Ars Technica June 11, 2015 As officials of the Obama administration announced that millions of sensitive records associated with current and past federal employees and contractors had been exposed by a long-running infiltration of the networks and systems of the Office of Personnel Management on June 4, they claimed the breach had been found during a government effort to correct problems with OPM’s security. An OPM statement on the attack said that the agency discovered the breach as it had “undertaken an aggressive effort to update its cybersecurity posture.” And a DHS spokesperson told Ars that “interagency partners” were helping the OPM improve its network monitoring “through which OPM detected new malicious activity affecting its information technology systems and data in April 2015.” Those statements may not be entirely accurate. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the breach was indeed discovered in April. But according to sources who spoke to the WSJ’s Damian Paletta and Siobhan Hughes, it was in fact discovered during a sales demonstration of a network forensics software package called CyFIR by its developer, CyTech Services. “CyTech, trying to show OPM how its cybersecurity product worked, ran a diagnostics study on OPM’s network and discovered malware was embedded on the network,” Paletta and Hughes reported. And, according to federal investigators, that malware may have been in place for over a year. US intelligence agencies have joined the investigation into the breach. But it’s still not even clear what data was accessed by the attackers. Meanwhile, the breach has triggered outrage from unions representing federal employees. In a letter to OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, American Federation of Government Employees president J. David Cox expressed displeasure at the way OPM had handled the breach, calling the 18 months of credit monitoring and $1 million liability insurance OPM is offering federal employees “entirely inadequate, either as compensation or protection from harm.” […]


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[ISN] What enterprises should do when helpless employees lose hope in fighting cyber attacks

http://www.csoonline.com/article/2926718/security-awareness/what-enterprise-should-do-when-helpless-employees-lose-hope-in-fighting-cyber-attacks.html By David Geer CSO May 28, 2015 Hit too many times with successful attacks and compromises, an enterprise’s human resources can develop a victim mentality, a.k.a. learned helplessness. When this happens, employees who feel they are helpless to do anything effective to fight cyber attacks lose hope. CSO looks at the symptoms of the victim mentality in the enterprise, how it comes about, and what enterprises can do technically and psychologically to avoid it. The victim mentality and its symptoms In the field of psychology, professionals also refer to the victim mentality as learned helplessness. “Learned Helplessness is a pattern of behaviors that develop in people when they are in a situation where they feel they have no power or control and they essentially give up,” says Steven Salmi, PhD, LP, President and CEO, Corporate Psychologists. Learned helplessness can surface in the corporate world where constant and extreme information security threats flourish. “If people feel stuck in a situation where no available choice will get them out of it, they can start to shut down,” says Salmi. […]


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[ISN] Strategic Friendship in Asymmetric Domain)

http://www.pircenter.org/en/blog/view/id/208 By Oleg Demidov PIR Center 09.05.2015 The bilateral intergovernmental Russian-Chinese agreement on cooperation in the field of international information security which was signed on May 8, 2015 during the visit to Moscow of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC and the President of China, could potentially become an important milestone in Russia’s strategy of pivoting to the East. Though in its current state the agreement rather provides a general cooperation framework, it also provides a broad range of directions for further practical cooperation steps and efforts between the two countries. It primarily focuses on systemic information exchange between special services of the two states, joint monitoring and prevention of escalation of serious incidents and especially conflicts in cyberspace, ensuring and strengthening cybersecurity of critical infrastructures, countering ICT-enabled forms and methods of terrorism, exchange of expertise and academic knowledge on cybersecurity, etc. A strong focus in made on joining efforts in countering the unlawful use of ICTs targeted at “undermining of social order, political and social stability, provoking extremism, hate and social unrest”, and even (and this is something quite new even for Russian doctrines, let alone intergovernmental agreements) “threatening to the spiritual sphere” of the two nations. Noteworthy, the agreement for the first time for a Russian official international document operates with the notion of strategic stability with regard to cyberspace and information security. Previously, a more broad and vague notion of ICT-enabled threats to international peace and security was used. Something distinct from a mere terminological equilibristic, this conceptual update serves as an indicator of the fact that Moscow now truly regards China as a strategic partner in the dialogue on political and military dimension of cybersecurity. The discourse of strategic stability was always linked to the issues of WMD strategic balance and (in Russian view) strategic antimissile defense. Now cybersecurity has a strong presence in this “elite club” of ultimate global security factors in the Russian strategic thinking, and first intergovernmental manifestation of this paradigm is addressed to and agreed with China. Accidentally or not, this aspect reveals interesting intersections with the recently published updated DoD’s Strategy for Cyberspace, which has replaced the previous document from 2011, even having in mind that an intergovernmental agreement and a national strategy are very different documents in terms of their scope and purposes. […]


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[ISN] How fear and self-preservation are driving a cyber arms race

http://www.cnet.com/news/how-fear-and-self-preservation-are-driving-a-cyber-arms-race/ By Max Taves @maxtaves CNET News May 2, 2015 When a man was fired from his job in Minneapolis, Minn., last May, he inadvertently touched off a boom in Silicon Valley. Gregg Steinhafel, then a 35-year veteran of Target and its CEO, was shown the door after hackers infiltrated the retailer’s computer systems, stealing 70 million shoppers’ information and 40 million credit and debit card numbers. It turned out the hack might have been prevented, had the company not ignored warnings from its own security systems. It happened again in December, when Amy Pascal, one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, was fired from her job heading up Sony Pictures after hackers exposed thousands of financial documents and emails revealing the film studio’s inner secrets. The hack captured the world’s attention and elicited criticism from customers, industry leaders and even the president of the United States. Pascal’s and Steinhafel’s exits sent shockwaves through corporate America. The message was clear: Top executives will be held responsible for their companies’ cybersecurity failings. The result, venture capitalists say, has been a boom for cybersecurity startups. In ways that previous attacks on consumers never did, the firings have sparked a scramble for new security technology by companies desperate to head off the next costly, embarrassing cyberattack. And venture capitalists are responding, pouring unprecedented billions into a dizzying array of young companies and their, largely, untested products. […]


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