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New Firm Sniffs Power Consumption to detect Malware

  In-brief: A new company, PFP Cybersecurity, says it can detect malware infections almost instantly by analyzing changes in the way infected devices consume power. The company is targeting industrial control system and critical infrastructure with new products. 

Senator Warns of DHS Struggle with Cyber Security

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) used his final days in office to warn that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is struggling to fulfill its mission to protect the nation from cyber attack. The report, “A Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Missions and Performance,” (PDF) was released on Saturday, as the retiring Senator from Oklahoma was leaving office. In it, the outgoing Senator said that DHS’s strategy and programs “are unlikely to protect us from the adversaries that pose the greatest cybersecurity threat.” The warnings on DHS cyber operations were part of a larger critique of the Department in the report, in which Coburn called on reforms of Homeland Security focused on accountability and streamlining. Despite spending $700 million annually on a range of cybersecurity programs, Coburn said it is hard to know whether the Department’s efforts to assist the private sector in identifying, mitigating or remediating cyber […]

U.S. Weather Systems Victims of Cyber Attack

The Washington Post is reporting that hackers from China breached the network of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in September, forcing cyber security teams to seal off data vital to disaster planning, aviation, shipping and scores of other crucial uses. The article cites sources within the government and Congress. The intrusion occurred in late September. However, NOAA officials gave no indication that they had a problem until Oct. 20, according to three people familiar with the hack and the subsequent reaction by NOAA, which includes the National Weather Service. According to the report, NOAA officials believe that actors based in China are responsible for the attack. The report also claims that efforts to respond to it resulted in an interruption in some key services, including NOAA’s National Ice Center Web Site, a partnership with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to monitor conditions for navigation. That two-day outage skewed the accuracy […]

Discrete Malware Lures Execs At High-End Hotels

Kaspersky Lab has a fascinating write-up of malware it is calling “DarkHotel.” The information-stealing software is believed to target traveling executives. Curiously, Kaspersky says the malware may be almost a decade old and is found only on the wireless networks and business centers of select, high-end hotels. Reports about targeted attacks on traveling executives are nothing new. However, the Kaspersky report (PDF version here) may be the most detailed yet on a specific malicious software family that is devoted to hacking senior corporate executives. According to Kaspersky, the DarkHotel malicious software maintained a presence on hotel networks for years, with evidence of its operation going back as far as 2007. The malware used that persistent access to target select hotel guests, leveraging check-in/check-out and identity information on guests to limit attacks to high value targets. Targeted guests were presented with iFrame based attacks that were launched from the hotel’s website, […]

The IoT Comes To Chicago: IoT World Forum

The Internet of Things is increasingly an industry unto itself, with the conferences to prove it. And “no,” I’m not just talking about The Security of Things Forum – Security Ledger’s own IoT and security show. (Videos from our first annual show are now available, by the way. Register to view them here.) No: there are forums and symposiums focused on all different aspects of IoT: smart cities, design, wearables, and so on. There’s O’Reilly’s Solid, GigaOm Structure and any number of smaller, regional events. I’m at one of the more prominent IoT shows this week: The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF), which is sponsored by Cisco Systems. I’m moderating a really interesting panel that addresses a critical issue: the ways in with information technology (IT), operations technology (OT) and consumer technology (CT) converge in the IoT. These are three areas that, until recently, were separate. But a variety of developments […]