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

10/1/2010
04:28 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

More Than Half Of Critical Infrastructure Firms Have Been Hit By State-Sponsored Attacks

Survey finds energy, banking and finance, healthcare, IT, emergency services, communications firms worldwide expecting more targeted, politically motivated attacks

Politically motivated, state-sponsored attacks are happening regularly: Fifty-three percent of critical infrastructure firms around the globe say they have been hit with an attack aimed at a specific political goal, a new report from Symantec found.

A survey of 1,580 energy, banking and finance, healthcare, IT, emergency services, and communications firms worldwide found that these firms have each suffered about 10 such politically motivated, state-sponsored attacks in the past five years. Around 60 percent of these attacks worldwide were somewhat to extremely effective, the respondents said, and 74 to 77 percent of the firms in North America said the attacks on them were "effective."

Small businesses suffered the most bruising attacks, according to the report, with an average cost of $850,000 per attack.

Worries about these targeted, politically motivated attacks are high of late, with the Stuxnet worm attack that went after factory floor plant systems. Stuxnet serves as cautionary tale of the potential of these brands of attacks, according to Symantec.

"Stuxnet is an example of the threats these companies are feeling the pressure from and feel are going to continue," says Justin Somaini, CISO for Symantec. "These threats take many forms -- a denial-of-service, compromising a SCADA system [like Stuxnet], and attacks on financial" systems, he says.

The Symantec 2010 Critical Infrastructure Protection Study, which was conducted by Applied Research and commissioned by Symantec, found that 48 percent of these firms expect more such attacks in the next year, and 80 percent say these attacks will either remain constant or will increase.

Meanwhile, 90 percent say they have participated in their own country's Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) program, with around 56 percent being "significantly or completely engaged" in these programs. Energy firms are the most involved, with 83 percent fully embracing these programs. IT was less likely to do so (49 percent).

"This significant desire by industry to partner or participate in CIP programs surprised me," Somaini says. "I expected less participation than what I saw."

Meanwhile, 28 to 33 percent of the critical infrastructure firms say they are "extremely prepared" for these forms of attacks, 36 to 41 percent are "somewhat prepared," and 31 percent are "less than somewhat prepared."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
44% of Security Threats Start in the Cloud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/19/2020
Zero-Factor Authentication: Owning Our Data
Nick Selby, Chief Security Officer at Paxos Trust Company,  2/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9405
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
IBL Online Weather before 4.3.5a allows unauthenticated reflected XSS via the redirect page.
CVE-2020-9406
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
IBL Online Weather before 4.3.5a allows unauthenticated eval injection via the queryBCP method of the Auxiliary Service.
CVE-2020-9407
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
IBL Online Weather before 4.3.5a allows attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading the IWEBSERVICE_JSONRPC_COOKIE cookie.
CVE-2020-9398
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-25
ISPConfig before 3.1.15p3, when the undocumented reverse_proxy_panel_allowed=sites option is manually enabled, allows SQL Injection.
CVE-2015-5201
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-25
VDSM and libvirt in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor (aka RHEV-H) 7-7.x before 7-7.2-20151119.0 and 6-6.x before 6-6.7-20151117.0 as packaged in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization before 3.5.6 when VSDM is run with -spice disable-ticketing and a VM is suspended and then restored, allows r...