In-brief: Did security researcher Chris Roberts attempt to tamper with in-flight systems during a United Airlines flight from Denver to Chicago in April? An FBI affidavit says “yes,” Roberts says “no way.”
The Internet of Things has arrived – at least insofar as the hacker underground is concerned. The IoT is getting its own Village at DefCon. Sure, it’s been easy enough to see for a while that hacking “stuff” was what all the cool kids were doing, whether you were talking about Barnaby Jack’s “Jackpotting ATMs” presentation or the research on telematics systems by folks like Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. But the creation of a dedicated “IoT Village” at the show, alongside staples like the Lockpick Village, the Wireless Village and the Packet Hacking Village (aka “The Wall of Sheep”) establishes Internet of Things hacking as a major new “vertical” within the diverse and fast-evolving hacking subculture. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of hacking the Internet of Things.] Villages are dedicated areas of the DEFCON conference where attendees can converge to view demonstrations and take part in hands on lessons […]
In-brief: The Internet of Things will make “datakinesis” – the impact of data attacks on the physical world – common, says Cisco’s Marc Blackmer.
The Christian Science Monitor is running a story I wrote this week on the security of the electric grid. In the piece, I take a look at whether the electric industry is soft-pedaling cyber risk. From the piece: “For all the huffing and puffing in Washington D.C. policy circles about the hack of Sony Pictures being an act of “cyber war,” for security experts who have been working within the power sector, however, the dire warnings are not news. They would not have been news last year, or the year before. In fact, (NSA Chief Mike) Rogers’ dim assessment of the US power sector’s readiness to face and withstand a cyberattack has been shared and articulated within the power industry for seven years. “Why is it that the US power grid in 2014 is not better prepared to keep nation-state hackers at bay, or to withstand a critical cyberattack? Some of the […]
A report released this week from Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security said that a German steel manufacturing plant was severely damaged by a cyber-physical attack this year. The incident was mentioned in an annual report by the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (or BSI), which provided a summary of cyber security issues and incidents affecting Germany. According to the report, a German steel manufacturing facility was the victim of a “targeted attack” that the report labeled an “APT” or “advanced persistent threat” style attack. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of APT-style attacks.] The attackers used a sophisticated spear-phishing e-mail and social engineering to get access to the office network at the steelworks, the report claims. “From there, they worked successively to production networks.” The malicious code disrupted the function of control system components that led to a blast furnace not being able to be turned off in a regulated fashion. “The result (was) massive damage […]