Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Defense, Finance, IT Security, Security, Technology

Daily Report: Sony Hacking Attack, First a Nuisance, Swiftly Grew Into a Firestorm

Three days before Thanksgiving, Sony Pictures employees in Culver City, Calif., arriving at work, turned on their computers to find macabre images of the severed head of the studio’s chief executive. Sony shut down all computer systems shortly thereafter,Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes report, including those in overseas offices, leaving the company in the digital dark ages: no voice mail, no corporate email, no production systems.

A handful of old BlackBerrys, located in a basement storage room, were given to executives. Staff members began to trade text messages using hastily arranged phone trees. Sony’s already lean technical staff began working around the clock, with some people sleeping in company offices that became littered with stale pizza. Administrators hauled out old machines that allowed them to cut physical payroll checks in lieu of electronic direct deposit.

Still, for days the episode was viewed inside Sony as little more than a colossal annoyance. Though Sony executives were quickly in touch with federal law enforcement officials, the company’s initial focus was on setting up jury-rigged systems to let it limp through what was expected to be a few days or weeks of inconvenience. The company’s first statement on the breach, made on Nov. 24, seems almost absurdly bland in retrospect: “We are investigating an I.T.

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Cybersecurity, Defense, Education, Finance, Government, IT Security, Security, Technology

State Department Computers Hacked, Email Shut Down while Repairing Possible Damage from Suspected Hacker Attack

The State Department has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system as technicians repair possible damage from a suspected hacker attack.

A senior department official said Sunday that “activity of concern” was detected in the system around the same time as a previously reported incident that targeted the White House computer network.

That incident was made public in late October, but there was no indication then that the State Department had been affected. Since then, a number of agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service and the National Weather Service, have reported attacks.

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, cyber security legislation, Cybersecurity, Defense, E commerce, Finance, IT Security, Security, Technology

Despite hacks, cybersecurity bill stalled in Congress

WASHINGTON — Despite hack attacks against high-profile targets ranging from Home Depot to the White House, Congress is headed toward adjournment in a few days without passing a major cybersecurity bill.

“You would think Congress would have the motivation to act given all the cyber attacks,” said Darrell West, director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. “But even on an issue as important as cybersecurity, it’s been hard to get members of Congress to agree on a solution.”

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, cyber security legislation, Cybersecurity, Defense, E commerce, Finance, Government, IT Security, Security, Technology

Ensuring national cyber security

SO far, discussions on national security have not included cyber security. Unfortunately, we know very little about cyber warfare, although we entered the cyberspace in the early ’90s in an unplanned way, and by ignoring most of the security options. Internet security doesn’t mean installing antivirus software in a personal computer. It has a wider aspect that must be addressed at state level, as a part of national security.

The National ICT Policy, amended in 2009, didn’t address the issue at all. No budget has been allocated for combating cyber attacks, and who is the authority dealing with the matter is still unclear.

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Defense, E commerce, Finance, IT Security, Security, Technology

Is North Korea to Blame for Sony’s Cyber Security Breach?

Leading electronic products manufacturer, Sony Corporation (SNESnapshot Report) is reportedly contemplating to officially name North Korea as its prime suspect for triggering a massive cyber attack at its corporate network last week. North Korea, however, has denied any involvement in this matter

What Actually Happened?

On Nov 24, the internal data of the Sony Corporation’s American subsidiary, Sony Pictures Entertainment, was hacked and valuable data related to upcoming movies and employees pay were stolen. The data, in particular, comprised five unreleased movies, around 7,000 global employees’ paycheck and medical records, and other confidential data.

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, cyber security legislation, Cybersecurity, E commerce, Finance, Government, IT Security, Security, Technology

Banking Committee to examine financial cybersecurity

The Senate Banking Committee next Wednesday will hold a hearing on cybersecurity in the financial sector.

Lawmakers and regulators have been pressuring banks to boost their cyber defenses in the wake of a major breach at JPMorgan that exposed the names, addresses, phone numbers and emails of 76 million households.

Senators will hear from officials at the FBI, Homeland Security Department, Secret Service and Treasury Department, among others.

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The Cybersecurity Myths That Small Companies Still Believe

High-profile breaches at Target (TGT), Home Depot (HD), and JPMorgan Chase(JPM) have put cybersecurity on the agenda for companies large and small. But despite the ongoing media commentary and “best practices” memos, consultant Adam Epstein of Third Creek Advisors notes that board members of small-cap companies and those considering or preparing initial public offerings are still befuddled by persistent myths on this topic.

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Cybersecurity, Defense, E commerce, Finance, Government, Healthcare, IT Security, Security, Technology

Health Care CIOs Outline Strategies for Improving Cybersecurity

In a report based on a summit held earlier this year, health care chief information officers outline three key strategy areas for improving cybersecurity, Health IT Security reports (Snell, Health IT Security, 11/24).

Background on Summit

In the fall, the Scottsdale Institute hosted its second annual CIO Summit, which focused on “information requirements for the competitive marketplace.” The CIOs of eight health care organizations attended the summit.During the event, participants discussed tactics for adapting to new informatics requirements in the health care sector (Scottsdale Institute report, November 2014).

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Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Cybersecurity, Defense, E commerce, Education, Finance, Government, IT Security, Security, Technology

Mischief in cyberspace

With the arrival of Cyber Monday, a substantial part of holiday Internet sales — and the hopes of legions of retailers — ride on the seamless function of the complex network crucial for online commerce. This invites a successful cyberattack on the nation’s vital communications infrastructure and has the potential to deal incalculable harm to the nation. The greater the nation’s electronic grid, the more urgent the need to insulate these information systems from disruption. Every day must be cybersecurity day.

Millions of shoppers descended on the malls the day after Thanksgiving, eager to find discounts and Black Friday savings at favorite shops and stores, and millions more are expected to scour the Web on Cyber Monday in search of deals offered only online. Cyber Monday sales hit a record in 2013 at $2.3 billion, and sales are likely to exceed that figure this year.
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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Cybersecurity, Defense, E commerce, Education, Finance, Government, IT Security, Security, Technology

Programs Aim to Fill Cybersecurity Skills Gap

A shortage of security professionals will likely become more acute in coming years as companies connect more devices to networks to create the Internet of Things, according to Cisco, which puts the shortfall at a million security pros. The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium does not believe the shortage is quite as severe, estimating a gap of “only” 300,000 cyber-security pros.

Whether the number is 300,000, a million or somewhere in between, enterprises will obviously be challenged to maintain adequate security staffs. These numbers underscore the importance of programs like the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriotnational youth cyber education program and Symantec’s Cyber Career Connection (SC3), both of which seek to raise awareness of cybersecurity careers and swell the ranks of future security pros.

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