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On the tragic week of September 11th I must remind you that the historic lesson of September 11th, is that non-state actors will use technology to attack critical infrastructures. Forums within the dark web have facilitated the majority of the most significant attacks in 2015.
Critical infrastructure systems around the world are the targets of repeated cyberattacks, according to a new global survey of technology executives in these industries. The United States and China are believed to be the most likely countries to conduct a cyberattack against the critical infrastructure of another nation, according to the respondents. Companies and agencies operating in the banking and finance sectors, energy and natural resources, telecommunications and internet service providers, transportation and mass transit, chemical production and storage, food distribution and government services are considered critical infrastructure companies.
The attacks that are occurring include massive denial of service attacks, stealthy efforts to penetrate networks undetected, DNS poisoning, SQL injection attacks and malware infections. Among the more serious findings in the report is that some of the most sensitive critical infrastructure entities around the world, such as those for energy and natural-resource industries (such as water and sewage plants), are some of the least secure.
For example, 80 percent of executives working for entities that use SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) or Industrial Control Systems say their systems are connected to the internet or some other IP network, putting them at possible risk of intrusion. About 55 percent of respondents in the energy and power and the oil and gas sectors reported that the attackers most often targeted the SCADA or other operational control systems, although the survey offers no indication of how successful these attacks were. Only 57 percent of respondents across all sectors said their organization installed security patches and updated software on a regular schedule. The survey involved 600 IT and security executives in critical infrastructure industries in 14 countries, including financial, transportation and mass transit, energy and natural resources, telecoms and ISPs. The release of the report was timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum being held through the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, and follows on the heels of a serious and coordinated cyberattack conducted against Google, Adobe and other U.S. The report is believed to be the first of its kind to examine the security of critical infrastructures around the world, although it has a number of shortcomings that the coordinators don’t address.
For example, the report indicates that large-scale DDoS attacks had a particularly severe effect in the energy and power and water and sewage sectors, but doesn’t elaborate on what consequences were suffered as a result of these attacks. About 75 percent of executives in China believe foreign governments have been involved in cyberattacks against critical infrastructure in that country, while 60 percent in the U.S. In a conference call, the organizers of the survey acknowledged that respondents who indicated that foreign-nation states were behind attacks were not asked how they knew attacks against them came from nation states.
More than half of executives surveyed (54 percent) said they suffered large-scale DDoS attacks and stealthy infiltration attacks by high level adversaries, such as organized crime, terrorists or nation-state actors. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed reported suffering large-scale DDoS attacks multiple times each month, with about 64 percent saying the attacks impacted their operations in some way, such as interfering with website operations, e-mail servers or phone systems.
Of those that suffered sensitive data leaks and loss from network intrusions, 15 percent said the impact was serious, while 4 percent said it was critical. The most common target in such attacks was financial information, with a little more than half reporting that this was the aim of intruders.
One in five respondents said they were the victim of extortion through a cyberattack or threatened cyberattack within the last two years. Again, the survey provides little elaboration other than to point to now disputed media reports attributing power outages in Brazil in 2005 and 2007 to hackers.
The 60 Minutes story was based in part by information from CSIS’ own James Lewis, a senior fellow in its technology and public policy program.
With regard to securing against attack, critical infrastructure entities in China have the highest rate of adopting strong security measures such as encryption, user authentication and strict security polices.
The adoption of strong security measures, however, didn’t necessarily translate to better protection from high-level attacks. Cyber-attacks aimed at critical infrastructure targets like the electric grid, oil & gas pipelines and other high value installations have become more sophisticated and are escalating at an alarming rate.
In 2012 nearly 200 cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure targets were reported to the U.S.
As critical infrastructures become increasingly reliant on connectivity to the internet, they are at risk of becoming targets for malicious attacks, often state sponsored.


What concerns us is “the internet of things” –connecting things made of steel and concrete to the internet.
During the SDA’s event, we asked several questions to two CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection) experts: Michael Daniel, Special Assistant to the US President and Cybersecurity Coordinator, and Sigrid Johannisse, Advisor on cyber security in the Cabinet of Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. So the threat is real and although for the moment it is difficult for hackers or malicious actors to inflict their intended damage at the time and place of their choosing, Michael Daniel expects that this will become easier over time. The Network and Innovation Security (NIS) Directive requires EU member states to put in place cyber defence capabilities. The majority of respondents are expecting information securityrelated M&A to increase over the next 12 months.
If we examine the last WEF report, then in line with earlier results, the majority of respondents (53%) expect IT services and technology companies to be the most active acquirers within the information security space.
In my opinion we should be more concerned about this cyber attacks because its our safety that’s on danger.
However, a serious impediment remains member states’ reluctance to cooperate more thorougly, which is iterated by experts like prof. Fact remains that ENISA is more an advisor and overseer rather than operational regulator or agency with top-down inspection powers.
So far so high you build your fire wall… Think crypto and think to track out your stuff in case of someone succeed. Maintaining enterprise security only gets more difficult, as additional means of cyberattack and increasingly sophisticated techniques are added to attackers’ arsenal.
This entry was posted in Business, Business Interruption, Crime, Cyber Crime, Emerging Risk, Risk Management, Security, Technology Risk and tagged critical infrastructure, Cyber Risk, cyber threats, cyberattack, cyberrisk, Cybersecurity, DDoS, hacktivism, pos, trojans, verisign by Hilary Tuttle. Today’s adversary uses other attack vectors beyond spear phishing including watering holes; mobile attacks island hopping. They believe some of the attacks are coming not just from individual cybercriminals but terrorists and foreign nation states. The aims of the attacks vary from shutting down services or operations to theft of services and data or extortion attempts. Executives at water and sewage facilities also reported having the lowest level of security measures in place. It was led by Stewart Baker, a visiting fellow with CSIS and former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Security during the last Bush administration.
The executives surveyed have responsibilities in information technology, security and operational control systems. Many of the findings, for example, are provided without elaboration, making it difficult to know what the survey participants meant in their responses.
The organizers said the respondents were likely basing their responses simply on perceptions gained from news reports rather than firsthand knowledge of the source of attacks.
The least common target was password and login information, which was targeted in only 21 percent of attacks. Extortion was most common in India, the Middle East, China and France and rarest in the U.S.
The 60 Minutes story, however, has been harshly criticized privately by a number of the show’s own sources, who say it was based on rumor, and has been denied by the Brazilian government. So, citing disputed media reports to support extortion claims when those media reports were in part the result of disputed information provided by CSIS is a curious move.
About 62 percent of Chinese executives said such measures were in place, while only 53 percent in the U.S. Despite the threat, critical infrastructure managers have been slow to embrace the full range of measures needed to make their critical assets more resilient to cyber-attacks. Critical infrastructures include all necessary facilities a country needs to take care of its citizens, ranging from government websites and banking services, to air traffic control and the supply of energy. Because once those are connected to the internet, then a cyber-attack will not only destroy ones and zeroes, but things of steel and concrete, and when they break, people will die.


In March the European Parliament voted in favour of the Directive, meaning that it will now have to be implemented at member state level.
They attribute the anticipated rise to the extensive use of cloud computing, data storage, and virtualization technology. These firms are improving and making their existing line of products and services more sophisticated to cater to the specific needs of each client. Nurturing the network of national Cyber security authorities and their linkeages to the member states’ (Criminal) Justice branches requires sufficient EU budgetary backing. Bart Preneel (Belgian Cybercrime Center of Excellence for Training, Education and Research (BCCENTRE)) in May. The transboundary nature of cyber intrustions means that individual enforcement of national agencies’ technical and investigatory strenghts are an inadequate equation.
Recently, the United States government has suffered one of the most significant breaches in history’ a cyber event that was the greatest single act of espionage since post-Glasnost. Although the report doesn’t note this, in order to get to financial data, intruders often obtain password and login credentials at some point in their intrusion. The sectors most represented in the survey are the banking and finance sector and government services. So, add us to your ad blocker’s whitelist or pay $1 per week for an ad-free version of WIRED.
As assets become more interconnected to information systems through automated control and communication devices they become more vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. Secondly, we asked both experts where they think the threat of cyber-attacks mainly comes from: individual hackers or state-sponsored attackers? Then, there should be more relevant information as panflets, marketing on tv, distribution of information in the streets. While surely the industry will try to keep intrusive and random cyber authority diagnostic auditis at bay, the path of autoregulation simply does not guarantee that they can pull off the job on their own, without independent supervision. The Office of Personnel Management breach was tremendously impactful as it illustrated the level to which a foreign regime would target the leadership of the US government. So while the password and login may not be the final target, it is often a means to the target. These systems regulate the flow of energy and electricity, turn systems on and off, and control key functions. And finally , more workshops to transform mentalities and prepare better the european citizens in order to deal with the cyber attacks, because safety start on us! If not, then collective cyber governance will fail and malicious hackers and criminals will exploit our failure to work together on joint weakness points. We must understand that the purpose of the breach was merely the reconnaissance stage of the modern kill-chain. Strong warnings to take precautions have been issued to critical infrastructure managers by nearly every governmental body including: the White House, Homeland Security, FBI, DOD, FERC and others.
By tampering with data and safety features hackers can compromise the reliability, integrity and safety of these assets. Leave your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we will take them to policy-makers for their reaction! With the data gleaned from this breach by our cold war adversaries, it’s now being utilized to actively hunt our nation’s elites with more sophisticated attacks.



Us citizen corps cert
Fire evacuation procedures in the workplace




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