Hackers Waging Cyber War: Government & Corporate Networks Proven Insecure
Cyber warfare is quickly becoming a serious problem for governments and major corporate entities as more hackers are launching powerful attacks on web servers; designed to exploit weaknesses, disable online services and steal data. The most recent attack was by the hacking group Lulz Security (LulzSec – @LulzSec), who claimed what they say was a ”small, just-for-kicks” hack of the US Senate website. The Senate sergeant at arms confirmed that hackers gained access to the server file directory that supports the Senate’s public website, reports Politico. Here’s some internal data they retrieved from the senate.gov website.
Most cyber attacks stem from dissatisfaction with government bodies and are often done just for the pride of knowing that they could do it. For instance, LulzSec briefly took down the US CIA.gov website after being mocked by a Twitter user, Quadrapocdacone, who accused them of taking on only “soft targets” like video game companies and PBS; and stated that they give real hackers a bad name. The hackers’ pride will not allow demeaning statements about their work to go unanswered and so for 2 consecutive days cia.gov IT security pros were busy defending their servers.
Other sites recently compromised by hackers:
- FBI-affiliated Infragard Atlanta
- 91 Malaysian websites, 51 of which were government sites
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Cyber Attacks Can Qualify As Acts of War
A cyber attack on the US or its allies can be considered an act of war and result in a military response, says the Pentagon in its first formal document outlining its cyber strategy. The 30-page classified report—unclassified portions of which will be released this month—looks at the changing face of warfare in a time when hackers can do serious damage to a country’s infrastructure, reports the Wall Street Journal, which spoke to three defense officials who have read it. ”If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.
After the brazen attacks on the US Senate and FBI-affiliated websites, they are attracting some serious heat and apparently feel invincible.
Are Jamaican Entities Prepared?
Jamaican officials will for now have to mind their Ps and Qs and not say anything to upset any hacker groups since they do not have the proper infrastructure for defending and repairing serious attacks. Don’t get us wrong, however, there are many talented IT pros in the island doing their thing but the government itself is not prepared because of lack of planning and execution of I.T. policies and guidelines.
Ethical hacking (which is the authorized use of programming skills to find vulnerabilities in a computer system in an effort to fix them before being discovered by hackers) should be on the budget of all public corporate computer systems as this activity will reduce the risk of being hacked. Having in-house designated security professionals is the way to go to maintain standard security. Based on our experience, the average business’ computer system in Jamaica is not secure and for many it was reveal that root access could be gained in 3 simple steps.