Increase in Cyber Attacks Seen Around the Globe
Cyber attacks are on the rise in the US and beyond. According to the National Journal, a top official at the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday said that the US government has seen an increase in cyber attacks intended to take control of the networks that navigate the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Including industrial facilities and pipelines on the list of targeted attacks, Greg Schaffer, assistant secretary for the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, said, “The government is tracking more and more cyber attacks that have a greater level of sophistication and are tailored to target specific types of industrial infrastructure, such as power grids,” the Journal reported.
Citing Stuxnet as one potential cyber threat, Schaffer would not comment on the attribution of the malicious computer worm, but noted that “defending information technology networks requires a balance between having protective measures but not impeding the ability of government workers to carry out their duties.”
Meanwhile, cyber attacks are also on the rise for all involved in the latest WikiLeaks scandal. In addition to WikiLeaks’ site recently taking cyber blows, the AFP reports that, following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the website of the Swedish agency prosecuting Assange came under cyber attack by way of WikiLeaks hactivist supporters.
Temporarily downing the Swedish prosecutor’s website, aklagare.se, the AFP reports that the hackers also launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the website of the Swiss Post Office bank, PostFinance.ch, and PayPal’s blog, ThePayPalBlog.com.
According to the report, the hackivists were angry that “PayPal blocked financial transfers to WikiLeaks last week, while the Swiss Post Office bank closed accounts held by Assange.”
But cyber attacks are stretching beyond the US, Europe and the WikiLeaks crew. In a recent report by the Associated Press, the website for India’s federal investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, was temporarily shut down over weekend by a cyber attack that it said was caused by a Pakistani group, who identified themselves as part of the Pakistan Cyber Army.
As Pakistan and India have been rival nations since the 1940s, it seems that cyber retaliation was in order. According to the Pakistan Observer, a group of hackers, calling themselves the Indian Cyber Army, attacked 36 of the 40 Pakistani government websites hosted on the same server.
Also in DDoS distress, over in Southeast Asia, Vietnam may have faced its fair share of cyber attacks, as well. According to an article by the Asian publication FutureGov, the country will invest $42 million (USD) over the next 10 years on cybersecurity to protect its infrastructure, following a series of cyber attacks on a major Vietnamese government-run news website.
According to the report, “More than 1000 Vietnamese web sites were hacked last year, and around 800 have been infiltrated so far this year.”
Additional cybersecurity news headlines follow:
How to fight and win the cyberwar (Wall Street Journal)
This week at war: The covert war inside Iran (Foreign Policy)
Expert: Impossible to tell who is behind cyber attack on WikiLeaks (The New New Internet)
These leaks spell doom for web freedom (Daily Mail)
Op-Ed: Confronting the daily cyber assaults (Politico)
Cost of ‘Web War I’: 10 Million Euros (The New New Internet)
Hackers promoted bogus terror attack at APEC 2009 (Network World)
Nigeria takes aim at cyberscams (PC World)
Opinion: It’s time for e-Sputnik (Government Executive)
Feds sign cybersecurity commercialization MOU with financial association (Fierce Government IT)
Government, finance industry team up to promote cybersecurity innovation (The New New Internet)
NASA CIO lacks sense of urgency about hard drive cybersecurity hole, says IG (Fierce Government IT)