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Foreign spies 'penetrate' US military networks

Foreign spies should be assumed to have penetrated the computer networks of the US military, American politicians have been told.

Security experts testifying to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee said the penetration was likely so complete that attempts to curb it should stop.

Instead, cyberdefence should be about protecting data not controlling access.

The experts said the US should look into ways to retaliate against nations that had access to its networks.

In an open session, experts from the US National Security Agency and government labs said America had to change the way it thought about protecting Department of Defense (DoD) computer networks.

"We've got the wrong mental model here," said Dr James Peery, head of the Information Systems Analysis Centre at the Sandia National Laboratories. "I think we have to go to a model where we assume that the adversary is in our networks." More...

03-23-2012 17:34

New Interest in Hacking as Threat to Security

WASHINGTON — During the five-month period between October and February, there were 86 reported attacks on computer systems in the United States that control critical infrastructure, factories and databases, according to the Department of Homeland Security, compared with 11 over the same period a year ago.

None of the attacks caused significant damage, but they were part of a spike in hacking attacks on networks and computers of all kinds over the same period. The department recorded more than 50,000 incidents since October, about 10,000 more than in the same period a year earlier, with an incident defined as any intrusion or attempted intrusion on a computer network. More...

03-15-2012 21:11

Computer spyware is newest weapon in Syrian conflict

(CNN) -- In Syria's cyberwar, the regime's supporters have deployed a new weapon against opposition activists -- computer viruses that spy on them, according to an IT specialist from a Syrian opposition group and a former international aid worker whose computer was infected.

A U.S.-based antivirus software maker, which analyzed one of the viruses at CNN's request, said that it was recently written for a specific cyberespionage campaign and that it passes information it robs from computers to a server at a government-owned telecommunications company in Syria.

Supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad first steal the identities of opposition activists, then impersonate them in online chats, said software engineer Dlshad Othman. They gain the trust of other users, pass out Trojan horse viruses and encourage people to open them.

Once on the victim's computer, the malware sends information out to third parties. More...

02-18-2012 21:00