Attacks/Breaches

8/25/2010
05:45 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Pentagon Confirms Flash Drive Breached Military Network

The previously classified incident explains the Defense Department's November 2008 ban on Flash drives and other removable media.

The most significant breach of U.S. military computers occurred in 2008 when an infected Flash drive was inserted into a U.S. military laptop in the Middle East.

The incident is discussed publicly for the first time by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn in an article published on Wednesday on the Foreign Affairs Web site.




Slideshow: Next Generation Defense Technologies
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
"The flash drive's malicious computer code, placed there by a foreign intelligence agency, uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. Central Command," wrote Lynn. "That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control."

Lynn does not provide details about what information was compromised, but asserts that the breach was the most significant ever for the Department of Defense and that it served as a wake-up call.

Lynn says that frequency and sophistication of attacks on U.S. military networks has increased exponentially over the past decade. The 2008 incident, he says, was not the only successful penetration of U.S. military networks.

He claims that attackers have acquired thousands of files from U.S. networks and from networks operated by U.S. allies and industry partners.

Noting that attacks extend beyond military networks to companies like Google, which disclosed in January that it had lost intellectual property to a sophisticated cyber attack from China, Lynn argues that the theft of U.S. intellectual property may present an even greater long-term threat than attacks on critical infrastructure.

U.S. businesses, academic institutions, and government agencies lose "an amount of intellectual property many times larger than all the intellectual property contained in the Library of Congress" every year, Lynn says. Given that military strength comes from economic might, he argues that the economic consequences of ongoing intellectual property losses could hamper U.S. military effectiveness and economic competitiveness.

Hopefully, the situation will improve. U.S. Cyber Command, a unified command structure for network defense and operations, opened in May, and is expected to become fully operational in October. Nonetheless, Lynn sees the need for greater coordination between the public and private sector, and between the U.S. and its allies, to secure the nation's networks.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Want Your Daughter to Succeed in Cyber? Call Her John
John De Santis, CEO, HyTrust,  5/16/2018
Don't Roll the Dice When Prioritizing Vulnerability Fixes
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading,  5/15/2018
New Mexico Man Sentenced on DDoS, Gun Charges
Dark Reading Staff 5/18/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "Security through obscurity"
Current Issue
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-8142
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-21
A security feature bypass exists when Windows incorrectly validates kernel driver signatures, aka "Windows Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability." This affects Windows Server 2016, Windows 10, Windows 10 Servers. This CVE ID is unique from CVE-2018-1035.
CVE-2018-11311
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-20
A hardcoded FTP username of myscada and password of Vikuk63 in 'myscadagate.exe' in mySCADA myPRO 7 allows remote attackers to access the FTP server on port 2121, and upload files or list directories, by entering these credentials.
CVE-2018-11319
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-20
Syntastic (aka vim-syntastic) through 3.9.0 does not properly handle searches for configuration files (it searches the current directory up to potentially the root). This improper handling might be exploited for arbitrary code execution via a malicious gcc plugin, if an attacker has write access to ...
CVE-2018-11242
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-20
An issue was discovered in the MakeMyTrip application 7.2.4 for Android. The databases (locally stored) are not encrypted and have cleartext that might lead to sensitive information disclosure, as demonstrated by data/com.makemytrip/databases and data/com.makemytrip/Cache SQLite database files.
CVE-2018-11315
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-20
The Local HTTP API in Radio Thermostat CT50 and CT80 1.04.84 and below products allows unauthorized access via a DNS rebinding attack. This can result in remote device temperature control, as demonstrated by a tstat t_heat request that accesses a device purchased in the Spring of 2018, and sets a ho...