Tag: terrorism

President Obama's proposals to expand legal tools to pursue hackers are being criticized ahead of the State of the Union Address.

Trial Balloon: Will Obama’s Cyber Proposals Sink or Fly?

In-brief: President Obama is putting cyber security at the top of his agenda for the State of the Union Address on Tuesday. But security experts are warning that the proposed laws will complicate many aspects of their work in the name of fighting hackers. U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. A raft of new proposals to strengthen the nation’s cyber security are at the top of his agenda. As the address draws near, however, information security professionals are warning that many of the President’s proposals will have a chilling effect on their work, using the cause of fighting hackers criminalizing activities that are essential to investigating their crimes. The President’s proposals have been outlined in a series of releases and speeches by the President in recent weeks, including an address at the Federal Trade Commission on protecting consumers’ […]

FBI Director: Sloppy Sony Hackers Exposed North Korea

FBI Director: Sloppy Sony Hackers Exposed North Korea

The Director of the FBI James Comey offered his most direct retort to date to those who doubt the Bureau’s case against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying that the hackers who pillaged Sony Pictures Entertainment were “sloppy” and revealed the source of the attack – IP addresses linked to the reclusive government, Ars Technica reports. Comey was speaking at ICCS, the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York City on Wednesday. He said that, while the Sony attackers largely concealed their identity by using proxy servers, on several occasions they “got sloppy” and connected directly to Sony’s network, revealing their own IP address in the process. Those slip-ups provided evidence linking North Korea to the attack on Sony’s network, he claimed. The IP address isn’t the only evidence, however. (Thankfully.) Comey also said that “analysts at the FBI found the patterns of writing and other identifying data […]

President Obama will create a new agency to coordinate response to cyber attacks. Confusion following the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment  helped galvanize support for the new agency.

U.S. Sanctions 10 For Sony Hack, Keeps Mum on Evidence

  As the New York Times reports, the Obama administration doubled down on its recent allegation that the Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea (DPRK) was behind the hacking of Sony Pictures, announcing sanctions on 10 senior North Korean officials and several organizations in response to the incident. Paradoxically, the administration acknowledged that there is no evidence that the 10 officials took part in either ordering or planning the Sony attack. Instead, they described them as “central to a number of provocative actions against the United States,” the Times reported. Those ‘provocative actions’ were not described. The actions mirror the Administration’s controversial decision, in May, to charge five Chinese military officers in May, 2014, for their connection to computer hacking and cyber espionage campaigns directed at U.S. firms in the nuclear power, metals and solar products industries. In the case of the Chinese nationals, however, the FBI cited evidence linking the five military officers to […]

The German steel maker ThyssenKrupp said it was the target of a large scale attack aimed at stealing industrial secrets.

Cyberattack Inflicts Massive Damage on German Steel Factory

  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 […]

Theories abound as to who or what hacked Sony - none of them very reliable.

The Moral of Sony? Stop Doing Attribution

The hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which first came to light on November 24th, devolved this week into a chaotic international “whodunnit” with conflicting reports attributing the incident to everything from the government of North Korea to the government of China to global hacktivist group Anonymous to disgruntled Sony employees. For sure: those attributing the attack to hacking crews within the military of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) had their argument bolstered by reports in the New York Times and elsewhere claiming that the U.S. government now believes that the DPRK, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, was responsible for the devastating hack. Officials at Sony Pictures Entertainment clearly believe the connection is credible, ordering the cancellation of the release of the Sony Pictures film The Interview following threats of violence on theaters showing the film. That acceded to a key demand of the hackers, who have used the […]