Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
'BootHole' Vulnerability Exposes Secure Boot Devices to Attack
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/29/2020
Out-of-Date and Unsupported Cloud Workloads Continue as a Common Weakness
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/28/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16271
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
The SRP-6a implementation in Kee Vault KeePassRPC before 1.12.0 generates insufficiently random numbers, which allows remote attackers to read and modify data in the KeePass database via a WebSocket connection.
CVE-2020-16272
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
The SRP-6a implementation in Kee Vault KeePassRPC before 1.12.0 is missing validation for a client-provided parameter, which allows remote attackers to read and modify data in the KeePass database via an A=0 WebSocket connection.
CVE-2020-8574
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
Active IQ Unified Manager for Linux versions prior to 9.6 ship with the Java Management Extension Remote Method Invocation (JMX RMI) service enabled allowing unauthorized code execution to local users.
CVE-2020-8575
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
Active IQ Unified Manager for VMware vSphere and Windows versions prior to 9.5 are susceptible to a vulnerability which allows administrative users to cause Denial of Service (DoS).
CVE-2020-12739
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-03
A vulnerability in the Fanuc i Series CNC (0i-MD and 0i Mate-MD) could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause an affected CNC to become inaccessible to other devices. The vulnerability is due to improper design or implementation of the Ethernet communication modules of the CNC. An attack...