The U.S. government is losing the war against hackers

By on March 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM.

The U.S. government is losing the war against hackers

Executive assistant director of the FBI Shawn Henry, who after more than two decades is preparing to leave the bureau, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that computer criminals are too talented and current defensive measures are too weak to stop them. “We’re not winning,” he said, claiming that the current public and private approach to fighting off hackers is “unsustainable.” Congress is currently considering two competing bills that are designed to strengthen critical U.S. infrastructures such as power plants and nuclear reactors. Henry believes that companies must make major changes in the way they use computer networks to avoid further damage to national security and the economy, however. He said too many companies don’t recognize the financial and legal risks they are taking by operating vulnerable networks. “I don’t see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it’s an unsustainable model,” Henry said. “Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security.” More →

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Chinese hackers seized control of NASA computers

By on March 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM.

Chinese hackers seized control of NASA computers

Hackers targeted NASA computers, successfully gained access to employee credentials, and took control of systems at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CNN reported on Friday. Paul K. Martin, the agency’s inspector general, cited one case in a report issued this week in which intruders from China-based IP addresses gained “full system access” to change or delete sensitive files and user accounts for “mission-critical” systems at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “In other words, the attackers had full functional control over these networks,” Martin said. In an earlier attack, hackers stole credentials of roughly 150 NASA employees. The agency reported that it was targeted with 47 “advanced persistent threats” in 2011, 13 of which successfully compromised NASA’s computers. Read on for more. More →

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