Feeds

Net simul-attacks expose US security holes

Attackers trounce defenders

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Simulated internet attacks in the US have uncovered gaps in the nation’s cybersecurity defences. In particular, cyber-defenders struggled to understand if simulated hack attacks were isolated or part of a more co-ordinated assault.

The four-day cyber-war exercise, conducted in February and the biggest such exercise to date, tested the US government's response to internet-based attacks on critical systems. The AP reports that these were of a type that "could crash air traffic control systems, halt subways or trigger power outages".

It is open to question if attacks of such a scope are feasible: we note that cyber-Armageddon has not happened yet, despite dire prognostications from prophets of doom. More plausible is the idea that cyber-attacks could create additional confusion in conventional terrorist attacks. But the exercises (which involved around 300 people from the US federal and state government agencies, nine IT companies and six public utilities looked at a different scenario.

During the simul-attacks, a motley crew of fake perpetrators, including "activist groups, disgruntled employees-turned-hackers and bloggers" were able to "[crash] the Federal Aviation Administration's control system, deface newspaper Web sites and threaten power outages".

The score-card of defenders contains these set-backs, but Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said that tests were successful as they will help to improve response to real attacks. There's more background on the exercise at the DHS website here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.