Posted by: Taylor Hoff | April 21, 2009

No System Is Ever Secure (Part II)

Technology needs to be better secured in this country. I see more and more of these reports coming up on the news feeds all the time, and I get more and more concerned about the U.S. Government’s capabilities to actually ward of hackers of any nationality. Of all the branches of the federal government, the military should be FAR more capable than this. A $300 billion dollar project for the Air Force, breached? The information stolen by chinese hackers? Again? A week ago they reported that chinese hackers were crawling around in our power grid systems, and this week there are Brazilians in our satellite network and Chinese in our defense contractors’ computers. Obama needs to add this unbelievable breach of national security to his ever increasing to-do list. A few ideas I can come up with, right off the bat: Taking the defense contractors’ networks offline during after-work hours. Setting up a firewall to block all china-based IP addresses. Setting up *gasp* security systems on satellites & air traffic control. It’s becoming obvious that having air and space superiority doesn’t cut it anymore, we need internet superiority as well. -TDH

Brazilian Pirates Hijack US Military Satellites

“Brazilians all over the country are using modified amateur radio equipment to communicate with each other using US Military communications satellites — effectively creating their own CB radio network on the backs of the US Military. Recent efforts to crack down have resulted in arrests of some of the users, however the behavior still continues today.”

Cyberspies Hack Into U.S. Fighter Project: Report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Computer spies have repeatedly breached the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program, the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper quoted current and former government officials familiar with the matter as saying the intruders were able to copy and siphon data related to design and electronics systems, making it potentially easier to defend against the plane.

The spies could not access the most sensitive material, which is kept on computers that are not connected to the Internet, the paper added.

Citing people briefed on the matter, it said the intruders entered through vulnerabilities in the networks of two or three of the contractors involved in building the fighter jet.

Lockheed Martin Corp is the lead contractor. Northrop Grumman Corp and BAE Systems PLC also have major roles in the project. Lockheed Martin and BAE declined comment and Northrop referred questions to Lockheed, the paper said.

The Journal said Pentagon officials declined to comment directly on the matter, but the paper said the Air Force had begun an investigation.

The identity of the attackers and the amount of damage to the project could not be established, the paper said.

The Journal quoted former U.S. officials as saying the attacks seemed to have originated in China, although it noted it was difficult to determine the origin because of the ease of hiding identities online.

The Chinese Embassy said China “opposes and forbids all forms of cyber crimes,” the Journal said.

The officials added there had also been breaches of the U.S. Air Force’s air traffic control system in recent months.

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