Cyber-attacks outpace global response, U.S. warns

Reuters reports: “The technical sophistication of cybercriminals is swamping the world’s ability to cope, a top U.S. official warned, demanding an accelerated cross-border campaign to combat the security threat.

‘Most countries don’t even have a legal framework that really governs cyber. It is such a new phenomenon in that regard so the legal systems — both domestic and international — have not kept pace with the technological advances we have seen,’ U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said.

‘And that is just the plain fact of it. We need to accelerate that in response,’ she told reporters in Vienna.

Prominent cyber-attacks of late have targeted the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Senate, and companies such as Citigroup and Lockheed Martin Corp.

The attacks have raised questions about the security of government and corporate computer systems and the ability of law enforcement to track down hackers…” (II Timothy 3:1; Luke 21:25 – nations will be in distress with perplexity [mass confusion] just preceding Christ’s return. See the next two reports.)

Cyber-attack can ‘collapse states,’ Knesset committee warns

The Jerusalem Post reports: “An internet-based cyber-attack can lead to the collapse of states if proper defenses are not in place, the chairman of the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee warned.

The committee heard a range of views on the latest threats, some of which emphasized the need to bring defenses around vital civilian infrastructure, such as financial services, up to speed.

Knesset Member Meit Sheetrit said during the meeting that ‘without tanks and without planes… it is possible to bring about the collapse of a state, and no military can come to the rescue. It is vital that basic steps are initiated to ensure the continuity of computing systems,’ according to a report by Calcalist.

Sheetrit added that legislation was needed to provide cyber defenses to crucial civilian potential targets…”

IMF hit by ‘very major’ cyber security attack

BBC News reports: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has been targeted by a sophisticated cyber-attack.

Officials at the fund gave few details but said the attack earlier this year had been ‘a very major breach’ of its systems, the New York Times reports.

Cyber security officials said the hack was designed to install software to create a ‘digital insider presence’.

The IMF, which holds sensitive economic data about many countries, said its operations were fully functional.

The cyber-attack took place over several months, and happened before former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested over sexual assault charges.

‘I can confirm that we are investigating an incident,’ said spokesman David Hawley.

‘I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cyber security incident.’

The New York Times said IMF staff had been told of the intrusion by e-mail, but that the Fund had not made a public announcement.

The e-mail warned that ‘suspicious file transfers’ had been detected and that an investigation had shown a desktop at the Fund had been ‘compromised and used to access some Fund systems’.

There was ‘no reason to believe that any personal information was sought for fraud purposes,’ it said…”