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Showing posts with label Cyberwar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cyberwar. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

North Korea: Games the DPRK Plays

North Korea is shuffling the missiles of April, The Japan Times reports in "North Korea sows confusion over launch":
North Korea has been repeatedly moving multiple missiles around in an apparent bid to confuse outside intelligence gatherers ahead of an expected launch, Yonhap reported Thursday.
Musudan Missiles

According to intelligence analysis cited by the South Korean news agency, two midrange Musudan missiles have been repeatedly moved in and out of a warehouse facility in the eastern port city of Wonsan.

At the same time, at least five mobile launch vehicles have also been spotted swapping positions in South Hamgyeong Province. They are believed to be launch platforms for short-range Scud missiles, which have a range of 300 to 500 km, and medium-range Nodong missiles, which can travel 1,300 to 1,500
Polish Scud on launcher
km.


“There are signs the North could fire off Musudan missiles any time soon,” an intelligence source said. “But the North has been repeatedly moving its missiles in and out of a shed, which needs close monitoring.”
Nodong

Another source suggested Pyongyang was hoping to “fatigue” South Korean and U.S. intelligence gatherers who have been on a heightened state of surveillance alert since Wednesday.
In addition, the South Korean government has verified hacking done by the NORKs, as reported by Yonhap in "Gov't confirms Pyongyang link in March cyber attacks":
Amid escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, the South Korean government on Wednesday announced that North Korea was behind the massive hacking attack that paralyzed networks of local financial firms and broadcasters last month.
***
The March 20 incident marks the latest attack in Pyongyang's growing pursuit of technological warfare. While the communist state has denied allegations, it has been blamed for a series of cyber attacks on the Web sites of South Korean government agencies and financial institutions in the past few years.

North Korea is known to operate a cyber warfare unit of 3,000 elite hackers who are trained to break into computer networks to steal information and distribute malware.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

China's Cyber-war

China's cyber-war against the West is discussed, very well, in The Wall Street Journal's "Why China Is Reading Your Email":
Then there's the argument that all this is overblown because no cyber attack has ever killed anyone. Mr. Thomas responds, somewhat impatiently: "If I had access to your bank account, would you worry? If I had access to your home security system, would you worry? If I have access to the pipes coming into your house? Not just your security system but your gas, your electric—and you're the Pentagon?"
It's enough to get you looking at "doomsday prepping."

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Unable to attend the 2013 USNI West Conference and Exposition in San Diego last week?

Well, you might have missed some really good information - except that you can still view some of the key presentations and panels by watching them on USNI's YouTube page and get a summary of each day's summary here.

Almost like being there except you miss the giveaways at the vendor's booth.

Also, given that Midrats has Super Bowl "Best of" going this Sunday, it's a way to get your "talking 'bout National Security" fix.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Somali Pirates: Cyberwar and simple spy craft?

Interesting article in National Defense by Michael Frodl, "Pirates Exploiting Cybersecurity Weaknesses in Maritime Industry":
Sea pirate tool?
The increasingly common hacking attacks on government and private computer networks are now being perpetrated on companies and organizations involved in the burgeoning private maritime security industry.

***
It appears that ship owners and shippers are mostly oblivious to even the most elementary rules of not only cybersecurity, but more importantly, of information security.

They should be paying more attention to this issue. Somali pirates and their confederates, especially their foreign bankrollers, are increasingly surfing the Web for loose information that can help them with targeting vulnerable and valuable ships. They are hiring experts who know how to break into the “secure” computers of ship owners and shippers and obtain information that is not being shared with the public, including blueprints to ships and the insurance they carry.

***
It is not enough to protect networked computers with technological fixes such as firewalls, tripwires and passwords. They can only provide so much security. One also has to train staff to not give away vital information to strangers in person or over the phone, or by just throwing out revealing documents without shredding them first.

... the smarter pirates have avoided giving away early clues of their intent. Guided by a ship’s Automated Information System, they zero in on a specific prize, go out at the last minute, pile on to her deck and hijack her so fast that the modern naval warships on the prowl and their fast response helicopter-borne sharpshooters can’t show up in time.


The last hijacking of 2011 was precisely this sort of operation. The Enrico Ievoli was carrying caustic soda from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, and was targeted in a premeditated way. Her itinerary, cargo and crew, location, and the fact that she didn’t have armed guards were all known in advance by her Somali attackers, thanks to help from the Italian mafia, which commissioned the hijacking. She was grabbed practically under the noses of the foreign navies patrolling and assuring the security of the Gulf of Aden corridor.
Read the whole thing.

Loose lips (and computers) can result in captured ships.

Friday, March 23, 2012

CyberWar: Time to Reboot

DARPA has a warning about cyber security and national defense "Don’t Try To Predict The Future Of Cyber Security Build It":
To date, there has been much focus on increasing DoD cyber defensive capabilities. To be sure, the list of needed capabilities is long. DoD networks may be safer than they were, but systems are often easily penetrated, accounts are routinely hacked, intellectual property and sensitive information are compromised, and the supply chain is not verifiably secure.

The Agency’s recent testimony before congress reinforced that malicious cyber attacks are not merely an existential threat to DoD bits and bytes; they are a real threat to physical systems—including military systems—as well as to U.S. warfighters.

The U.S. will not prevail against these threats simply by scaling current approaches.

“With respect to cyber offense, it is our firm belief that the Department, indeed the Nation, is at an inflection point,” said DARPA Director, Regina E. Dugan. “It is increasingly clear that the operational needs of the Department of Defense (DoD) cannot be achieved by scaling traditional methods for cyber. To be relevant, the DoD needs cyber tools that are matched in diversity of effect and scale, address different timescales and entirely new targets. It will require the integration of cyber and electronic warfare at unprecedented levels.”

Armed with original research spearheaded by Dugan and the Agency’s Deputy Director, Kaigham J. Gabriel, the Agency created a cyber analytical framework as a means of identifying specific opportunities and gaps in capabilities. “The DARPA Cyber Analytic Framework, completed over a period of months through original research and detailed investigation, concluded that the U.S. approach to cyber security is dominated by a strategy that layers security on to a uniform architecture,” said Dugan. “We do this to create tactical breathing space, but this approach is not convergent with an evolving threat.”
In normal English, that means that the current efforts are akin to little kids building sand walls to divert the sea around sand castles. It doesn't matter how many of those walls you build, they are still sand and easily defeated by the rising tide. In cyber world, layered defenses on a easily broken system are like those sand walls - and the tide of threats is rising.

How to fix it? That's DARPA's quest.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Iran says it has uncovered second cyber attack

Iran says it has uncovered second cyber attack:
An Iranian military official said on Monday that the country has been attacked by a second computer virus, which he called part of a Western plan to sabotage Iran’s nuclear energy program.
It's almost like they're at war or something . . . wait until they see what happens next:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Voice of America Website Hacked by "Iranian Cyber Army"

Normally the Voice of America News website looks like the Voice of America. This morning some "Iranian" hackers appear to have been at work here:

"Iranian Cyber Army" at Work

If this is the best they can do, it's pretty sad.