cyber-attackWith all the commotion about how the world is becoming more and more the age of cyber attacks, the Internet is considered the battleground of future wars. With tensions rising from the last big cyber attack on Google being traced to China, government officials are trying to figure out what we would do if faced with a serious attack on our nation’s infrastructure.

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power-plantMcAfee, a security software company, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, recently surveyed 600 executives and technology managers from infrastructure operators in 14 countries and came up with a report that will shock the public. In the wake of the recent explosion at a power plant in Middletown, Connecticut, for which the cause has yet to be determined, this news is especially unsettling.

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hackedThe U.S. is preparing a new report for the Congressional panel that shows evidence of China launching cyber attacks to steal U.S. government and industry secrets. Since these attacks are using a lot more resources than your average hacker would have access too, the evidence points to the fact that these attacks are not being performed by some regular hacker who happens to just be based out of China.

The report says: “The problem is characterized by disciplined, standardized operations, sophisticated techniques, access to high-end software development resources, a deep knowledge of the targeted networks, and an ability to sustain activities inside targeted networks, sometimes over a period of months”

These attacks have been made on government computers, including those belonging to the Department of State, the White House, NASA, and Department of Defense agencies. Most of the files stolen were defense and policy related which further suggests that it was a government doing this and not just some random hacker. The hackers also knew exactly what they were doing and had total access to everything. The report states that:

“Analysis of the operation suggests that the adversaries previously identified specific directories, file shares, servers, user accounts, employee full names, password policies, and group memberships on the network, likely during their detailed reconnaissance phase”

It’s a known fact that China has been working on strategies for “information warfare” for the last 10 years, which might just be the case here. In response to this and other possible threats the U.S. government has also been developing its own cybersecurity and cyberwar capabilities, most recently bringing cyberwar responsibilities under the leadership of a new Cyber Command, headed by NSA director Keith Alexander.

(Via InformationWeek)

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