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Cyber Dialogue, Attacks Seen Around Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Monday, October 8, 2012 | 8:35 AM Leave a comment Go to comments

The start of October marked the Department of Homeland Security’s ninth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  But along with the initiative on Internet security, the month is also raising concerns over new and looming cyber policies and attacks.

Kicking off the annual cybersecurity awareness campaign, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called for a collaborative effort from American citizens, businesses and government alike to act responsibly and educate others on online safety.

“From the kitchen table to the classroom, from business transactions to essential government operations and services, cybersecurity is an issue that touches all of us,” said Sec. Napolitano said in a statement. “To ensure our nation’s security in cyberspace, each of us must play our part. National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds us that being safer and more secure online is a shared responsibility and we are urging the public and private sector to join DHS to ACT –‘Achieve Cybersecurity Together.’”

In accordance with Napolitano, Defense Department Deputy CIO Robert Carey called for more educational policies and practices to ensure computer users understand the essential elements of cybersecurity.

“The most important link is the user. Each of us, when we engage the network, is either an asset or a vulnerability, depending on our actions,” Carey said in a joint American Forces Press Service and Pentagon Channel interview. “The human becomes the weakest link, and so the more we can strengthen that weakest link, the better we will be.”

Meanwhile, the White House may also be using the month of October to strengthen its own networks and educate federal employees on certain types of cyber attacks.

According to Reuters, the White House last week was the target of spear phishing, an attack that attempts to penetrate systems by spoofing trusted email addresses to access sensitive information.

Though the White House and many of its federal agencies face thousands of cyber attack attempts daily, one senior administration official told Reuters, “In this instance the attack was identified, the system was isolated, and there is no indication whatsoever [that any data was extracted]. Moreover, there was never any impact or attempted breach of any classified system.”

If the hackers were trying to get their hands on the latest draft of President Obama’s pending executive order on cybersecurity, it seems they’ll have to join us in the waiting game.

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Following are some additional cyber headlines you may have missed:

FEDERAL NEWS:

DHS urged to hire 600 cyber ninjas (Federal News Radio)

White House thwarts hacker attack on unidentified computer system (The Hill)

DHS secretary reveals her personal cybersecurity strategy: Never use email (Daily Mail)

GAO: FDA should better tackle cybersecurity risks in medical devices (FierceGovIT)

White House seeks cybersecurity input from businesses, Congress (National Journal)

Rockefeller admits Congress lacks foundation for cybersecurity legislation (Forbes)

Senate GOP: Executive order would solidify divide on cybersecurity (The Hill)

Former NSA director urges national debate on cybersecurity (HSToday)

General: Nation needs DHS involved in cybersecurity (The Hill)

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW:

Under cyber scrutiny, China’s Huawei considers an IPO (Wall Street Journal)

EMC, National Cyber Security Alliance unveil cyber risk tool (American Banker)

USTelecom launches cybersecurity toolkit (Press Release)

Sourcefire CEO steps down due to health issues (Reuters)

HP enters India’s computer security market (UPI)

INTERNATIONAL  OUTLOOK:

Iran’s cyber attack claims difficult to judge, experts say (CSO)

Swedish c.bank website shut down in cyber attack (Reuters)

European security agency kicks off web safety campaign (V3)

American think tanks hit by hackers from China, other nations (USA Today)

Indian army sees USB drives as biggest threat to their security (News Tribe)

Hague to spend £2m a year on international cybersecurity center (TechWeek)

Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia (The Guardian)

Aussie cyber cops report thousands of incidents (Sidney Morning Herald)

HACKING HIGHLIGHTS:

Security flaw lets hackers steal Twitter accounts (BuzzFeed)

Hacker is sentenced in NASA, Pentagon break-ins (PCWorld)

Kaspersky: 4.5 Million DSL modems hit by cyber attack (eSecurity Planet)

CYBER INSIGHTS:

Is DHS ready to take the lead on cybersecurity? (FCW)

How to protect yourself and your business from attack (Fox News)

3 reasons major corporations lag on cybersecurity (The Boston Globe)

On cybersecurity, small businesses must stay only one step behind (Washington Post)

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This report is also featured on ClearanceJobs.com at: http://www.clearancejobs.com/defense-news/914/cybersecurity-news-round-up-cyber-dialogue-attacks-seen-during-cybersecurity-awareness-month

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