Napolitano urges successor to prepare for cyber attack, China reportedly subjected to major computer hacking attack and more

August 28, 2013
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nasa132903u2eHere are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • Napolitano urges successor to prepare for cyber attack – “Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that her successor must act quickly to prepare for a major cyber attack.” We have heard much about potential cyber war (or major attacks). Experts disagree as to what the impact of such an attack would be, or what it would include, but an escalation in today’s current cyber conflict is definitely possible (if not probable). DHS is tasked with securing the networks of all the federal civilian agencies, and thus must be up to and prepared for cyber war if it occurs. Via Federal Times, more here.
  • China reportedly subjected to major computer hacking attack – “

    China is suffering from a serious attack on its computer system. Connections to many websites have been slowed or killed altogether. The source of the attack is unknown at the moment, although it is unlikely a non-Chinese government attack.” It may be that China will begin to start changing their tune in regards to Chinese attacks on US companies, if their corporate interests continue to suffer such attacks. Via American Thinker, more here.

  • Companies Remain in Patching Quandary – ‘A fully patched operating system is the “minimum bar” for any organization, said Matt Hathaway, senior product manager with Rapid7, which released results of the survey of 600 IT pros on their enterprises’ endpoint security practices. While 83 percent said they fully patched their endpoint OSes, that means 17 percent are not.’ Organizations are often slow to patch because they are afraid of impacting mission critical processes; however, not meeting that minimum bar can open up the organization to malicious actors. Via ISS Source, more here.
  • Nature trumps malicious activity as telecom service killer – A recent report from the EU identified natural incidents are more disruptive to the delivery of telecom services. These incidents lasted the longest on average, even if they affected the least number of users. The most impactful were system failures and third-party failure, both of which were the most common and impacted the greatest number of users. This should give US decision makers some pause, as we attempt to harden our cyber defenses we must also harden our physical defenses while increasing reliability and uptime. Via FierceGovernmentIT, more here.
  • NASA puts 3-D printing to the test with rocket injector – Not necessarily “cyber,” but cool nonetheless. NASA is printing a rocket engine component with 20,000 pounds of thrust. This advance could potentially have cyber ramifications if designs were compromised. Also, we may see 3D printing as a way to create better fitting components. Either way, it is a big advancement. Via FedScoop, more here.
  • Brazil Fights Old Malware, Spam, and Underground Market Growth – “As globalization drives Brazilian industries forward, it also invites threats that aim on the weaknesses of growing market economies. Financial crimes have always topped the list of cyber security issues in Brazil, but as the country’s economy grows more people are exposed to the perks and problems of the latest computing technologies.” Cybercrime is booming in the emerging market, increasing the costs of cyber capabilities to all users. Unpatched systems are especially vulnerable (and the wide availability and use of pirated software does not help). Via Trend Micro, more here.
  • Energy Department pushes innovation with lab user agreements – “The Energy Department’s National Laboratories have recently been trying to further the bond between the department and industry innovators. By increasing technology transfers — which allow private industry partners to safely share technical expertise and access intellectual property and data — DOE is seeking to advance the commercialization of federally developed technologies, something the department says is critical to push innovation forward.” Commercial partners can pay for use of DOE resources, which can also help the agency decrease their overall costs. Via FedScoop, more here.