In-brief: A crippling cyber attack that could damage and destroy equipment needed to keep the lights on in major US cities is already possible. The only thing that’s lacking is a motive to carry out such an attack, according to our guest on this week’s podcast: Joe Weiss, a Managing Partner at Applied Control Solutions, LLC and a persistent, if lonely, voice calling for an overhaul of cyber security for the U.S. electric grid.
If you want to import beef, eggs or chicken into the U.S., you need to get your cargo past inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Not so hardware and software imported into the U.S. and sold to domestic corporations. But a spate of stories about products shipping with malicious software raises the question: is it time for random audits to expose compromised supply chains? Concerns about ‘certified, pre-pwned’ hardware and software are nothing new. In fact, they’ve permeated the board rooms of technology and defense firms, as well as the halls of power in Washington, D.C. for years. The U.S. Congress conducted a high profile investigation of Chinese networking equipment maker ZTE in 2012 with the sole purpose of exploring links between the company and The People’s Liberation Army, and (unfounded) allegations that products sold by the companies were pre-loaded with spyware. Of course, now we know that such […]
A security start-up, TrapX Security, made a splash this week with the story of a new piece of malware, Zombie Zero, which wormed its way into logistics and shipping firms on shipping scanners sold by a Chinese firm. The malware was discovered during a trial demonstration of TrapX’s technology at a shipping and logistics firm. It was implanted on embedded versions of Windows XP that ran on the scanning hardware and in a software image that could be downloaded from the manufacturing firm’s website. “This malware was shipped to large logistics companies embedded in the operating system,” Carl Wright, an Executive Vice President at TrapX told The Security Ledger. TrapX declined to name the firm on whose behalf it worked or the manufacturer whose scanners were compromised. It said 16 of 64 scanners sold to the victim firm were found to contain malware. Published reports also note that malware say scanners with another variant of the same malware […]