News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
You are here: Home / Network Security / Iran Hackers Target U.S. Energy Firms
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Iranian Hackers Reported Targeting U.S. Energy Systems
Iranian Hackers Reported Targeting U.S. Energy Systems
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
MAY
24
2013



For all the talk about China and the Syrian Electronic Army, it seems there's another threat to U.S. cyber interests: Iran. Iranian-based hackers have ramped up a cyber campaign against U.S. corporations, especially energy companies, according to news reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Iranian hackers were able to gain access to control-system software that could allow them to manipulate oil or gas pipelines. The paper quoted one former official who said the hackers got "far enough to worry people."

Gerry Cauley, chief executive of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a non-profit agency that oversees and ensures the reliability of bulk power systems in the region, told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit that computer viruses have been found in the power grid that could be used to deliver malicious software to damage plants.

Hard to Patch

Tom Cross, director of security research at Lancope, told us industrial control systems such as those used to control oil and gas pipelines are more interconnected with public networks like the Internet than most people realize.

"It is also difficult to fix security flaws with these systems because they aren't designed to be patched and restarted frequently. In the era of state-sponsored computer attack activity, it is not surprising to hear reports of these systems being targeted," he said.

"It is extremely important that operators of industrial control networks monitor those networks with systems that can identify anomalous activity that might be associated with an attack. Because of the relatively homogenous nature of network activity on many control systems networks, anomaly detection can be a powerful tool in an environment where other kinds of security approaches fall flat."

Running Out of Time

LogRhythm CTO Chris Petersen told us he is not surprised by the attacks. That's because cybersecurity experts have been warning of such threats for years. In fact, President Obama and members of Congress have heard the concerns and Obama even signed an executive order on cybersecurity.

"However, as today's reports tell, we may be running short on time," Petersen said. "The primary concern is that threats with a willingness to launch destructive attacks will develop these capabilities prior to U.S. critical infrastructure companies being able to defend themselves."

Petersen said the news is positive evidence that some of these threats are ahead of our defenses -- and we should be concerned that other capable threats will emerge quickly over the next few years.

"As a nation, we need to ask ourselves how long we have before a failed nation-state or terrorist organization is pushed to or willing to launch a truly destructive cyberattack against the U.S.," Petersen said. "Significant loss of the energy grid for even three days could be devastating to our economy and society. Our enemies know this and are planning accordingly."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there's a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know by accessing the white paper, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cloud Backup". Access the White Paper now.
MORE IN NETWORK SECURITY
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Dairy Queen is known for its hot fries and sweet treats, but it just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Samsung Maps Its Way with Nokia's 'Here' App for Galaxy Phones
Korean electronics giant Samsung has opted to license Here, Nokia’s mapping app -- formerly known as Nokia Maps -- for its Tizen-powered smart devices and Samsung Gear S wearable.
 
Google Successfully Tests Its Own Delivery Drone
While top technology companies are engaged in an "arms race" to develop drones that can quickly deliver goods to anyone anywhere, Google has revealed it successfully tested its own version.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.