Home > Cybersecurity News > Cyber Legislation Introduced Amidst Attacks

Cyber Legislation Introduced Amidst Attacks

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | 4:07 PM Leave a comment Go to comments

The numbers are out, according to eWeek, who recently published its list of the top 10 security stories of 2010.  Not surprising: The Google-China hacking incident, the malicious computer worm Stuxnet and the wrath of WikiLeaks all top the list of cyber blunders we’ve seen over the past year.

Regarding the latter of the list-toppers, WikiLeaks continues to make news headlines this week, as its hacktivist supporters rage on, threatening to take down the websites of any anti-WikiLeaks affiliates who take action to condemn the controversial site and its founder Julian Assange.

According to the Associated Press, the British government fears that its websites are at risk of Wiki-backed attacks, as Assange, who is wanted in Sweden on allegations of rape, was scheduled to appear in British court today for his extradition hearing.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that, after arresting a 19-year-old Dutchman on Saturday in connection with the WikiLeaks cyber attacks, authorities released the young man on Sunday, per his confession to the crime.

According to the report, the 19-year-old, who admitted to helping attack the websites of MasterCard and Visa, was the second person to be arrested in the Netherlands for the string of cyber attacks.  Late last week, a 16-year-old boy was also arrested for contributing to the ploy.

And in a separate ploy carried out on Sunday, Gawker, the online media mogul and blogging network, suffered a hack attack that brought down the company’s websites and jeopardized the Internet passwords and email addresses of hundreds of thousands of its 1.3 million users.

According to PC Magazine, the FBI said it is investigating the incident, which apparently was the work of a group that calls itself “Gnosis.”  The Magazine went on to note that Gnosis said that it “went after Gawker because of their outright arrogance.”

The “arrogance” the hackers are referring to, according to Forbes, may be due in-part to Gawker’s previous warning of its security holes, which were pointed out as early as July of this year.

The solution to all of the latest cyber slams?

According to Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee, the answer might lie within a new piece of legislation he rolled out on Thursday.

Deemed “The Internet and Cybersecurity Safety Standards Act,” a press release from Sen. Cardin’s camp said the bill would “require the US government and the private sector to work together to develop minimum Internet and cybersecurity safety standards for users of computers and other devices that connect to the Internet.”

“Just as automobiles cannot be sold or operated on public highways without meeting certain minimum safety standards, we also need minimum Internet and cybersecurity safety standards for our information superhighway,” Sen. Cardin was quoted as saying in the press release.

Additional news headlines on WikiLeaks:

Cybersecurity must balance ‘need to know’ and ‘need to share’ (Defense.gov)

Sen. Gillibrand urges harder stance on cyber attacks (CBS News)

Attacking websites is surprisingly easy social protest (NPR)

Governing cybersecurity from the White House (GovInfoSecurity)

WikiLeaks, cyber war threaten our way of life (US News & World Report)

This week in credit card news: WikiLeaks, cybersecurity, prepaid cards (Forbes)

Additional cybersecurity news making headlines:

F.B.I. memos reveal cost of a hacking attack (New York Times)

Lawmakers push Obama to shore up State Dept.’s cybersecurity efforts (ExecutiveGov)

McDonald’s customers’ data exposed in a Big Mac hack attack (IT Pro)

US government, businesses poorly prepared for cyber attacks, experts say (TMC Net)

NASA tasked with new cybersecurity reporting (Federal News Radio)

Clarke: Regulation needed to defend critical infrastructure against threat of cyberwar (FierceGovIT)

Stuxnet’s Finnish-Chinese connection (Forbes)

Stuxnet’s persistent legacy: Cybersecurity is blended security (SC Magazine)

Analysis: Cyber attack protection not worth the cost for most (Reuters)

Is Internet backbone vulnerable to cyber attack? (ScienceDaily)

Study: 94% of UK firms believe they can handle cyber attacks (The New New Internet)

Using KeePass’ password database to protect your online identity (The Atlantic)

Financial services sector signs cybersecurity research agreement with NIST, DHS (NIST.gov)

Bulgaria to rely on NATO cyber defense teams (China Daily)

Retailer Genesco falls victim to cyber attack (Bloomberg)

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