Rising Threat from Cyber Attacks

The threat from cyber attacks is on the rise.  On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that 2,411 companies had been the victims of a hacking operation that was part of an 18-month global attack that exposed vast amounts of personal and corporate secrets and intellectual property to theft. The attacks, which originated in Europe and China, targeted major corporations and government agencies including pharmaceutical giants Merck & Co. and... [Read More...]

Citibank Computers Hacked by Russian Cyber Gang

In additional cyber security news, the Wall Street Journal reported today that Citibank was the victim of a hack by what appears to be a Russian cyber gang that resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars. The attack also targeted two other entities, at least one of which is a government agency.  The attack was discovered over the summer, but could have taken place as much as a year earlier.  The case is being investigated by the FBI with... [Read More...]

Obama Appoints Cyber Security Czar – Howard A Schmidt

Seven months into his term, President Obama has appointed Howard A. Schmidt to the role of cyber security chief.  He will report to the National Security Council and will have regular access to the President. Mr. Schmidt is an industry veteran who previously served the Bush White House.  He was formerly the chief information security officer at Ebay, the chief information officer at Microsoft and worked in computer security for the Air Force, the... [Read More...]

What Your Employees Know About Your Business

What your employees know about your business might keep you up at night if you really thought about it.  In some cases the employee may have greater targeted knowledge or access to data than the owners, principals, executive team, or directors. What your employees know about your business may be of strategic value and provide that competitive edge.  It may be the special sauce that took the company years to develop and it may walk out the door prior... [Read More...]

Social Engineering Exploits Delivered Via Telephone

Most individuals who use a computer have received erroneous emails claiming they have won some prize, need to verify online banking credentials, are being contacted to accept funds from some far away estate that has no rightful owner, or some other elaborate story.  The list goes on.   The email based scams are referred to as phishing attacks.  These attacks are carried out by criminals who are looking to farm sensitive information from unsuspecting... [Read More...]

Government Reports Computer Spies Breach Fighter Jet Project

According to the Wall Street Journal’s  Siobhan Gorman, August Cole, and Yochi Dreazen,  computer spies have broken into the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project.   This is the  Defense Department’s costliest weapons program ever, how can this be?  Tell me its not true. Was 9/11 not enough of a wake up call?  The events of that day cast doubt on the US government’s ability to protect its people.   Now... [Read More...]

Cybersecurity Rules for Private Networks Proposed

According the the Washington Post and reporters Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus “Senate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity, April 1, 2009″ there is a new Senate Bill which proposes mandatory security standards for private industry.  The legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), was drafted with White House input. It is my opinion that this is nothing... [Read More...]

Is Your Critical Business Information Safe?

Recent news indicates that two large payment processors have become the victims of electronic compromise. According to RBS WorldPay in a press release the company states “Certain personal information of approximately 1.5 million cardholders and other individuals may have been affected and, of this group, Social Security numbers of 1.1 million people may have been accessed”. Heartland in a statement to the public indicated that it contacted more... [Read More...]

Who’s responsible for the costs of credit card theft?

A recent article in Information Week briefly discusses last weeks reversal by a federal appeals court of a lower court’s order that credit card processor Fifth Third Bancorp did not have to pay for new credit cards for some cardholders whose data was stolen during a 2004 hacking incident at BJ’s Wholesale Club.  The suit was originally brought by the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union. Essentially it goes like this.  In 2004 BJ’s Wholesale... [Read More...]