Feeds

Hackers can control military assets remotely

Armageddon frightened by this

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Army officials are concerned that skilled computer enthusiasts, and in particular those engaged by hostile military organisations, can hack into military weapons systems and control them remotely, Federal Computer Week reports. The potential exists for hackers to access computerised systems used for navigation and weapons targeting, US Army Information Assurance Program Manager Major Sheryl French explained during a recent military information management conference in Houston, Texas. According to the article, the US Department of Defence (DoD) has established through testing that a malicious hacker could penetrate the control systems of major weapons. According to a Defense Information Systems Agency training CD-ROM, an Air Force officer in a Boston hotel used a laptop computer to break into the computers of a Navy ship at sea, and implanted spurious data in its navigation systems. "This actually happened," the training module warns. "Fortunately, this was only a controlled test to see what could be done. In reality, the type of crime and its objective is limited only by people’s imagination and ability." But not everyone is losing sleep over the dark possibilities of cyber-warfare. Federation of American Scientists (FAS) defence and intelligence analyst John Pike says the threat can easily be exaggerated. Remotely hacking into weapons systems would be extremely difficult under highly-fluid battlefield conditions, Pike believes. "The problem for the enemy is that computer security vulnerabilities will almost certainly prove fleeting and unpredictable," he said. He described the true threat as a matter of random instances of harassment by the enemy. That's fine, so long as they don't gain access to strategic nuclear weapons systems, in which case a random instance of harassment could result in a nightmare of distinctly Biblical proportions. Meanwhile, the same newspaper reports that the US Army, forced to switch to Windows NT a few years back, is forward migrating its servers to systems running Web Star. The functionality may not be as good as NT or Linux, but they break far less easily. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.