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Cyber Security

OPINION
February 21, 2013
In what has become a depressingly familiar ritual, computer security experts revealed this week that hackers with apparent ties to a foreign government - in this case, the Chinese military - had "systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations" since 2006. But while such high-level international cyber intruders grab headlines, most successful online attacks are not all that sophisticated. Despite their Hollywood-enhanced image as inventive uber-geeks, most hackers don't actually have to work very hard to steal data or disrupt websites.
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NATIONAL
February 12, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - President Obama issued an executive order Tuesday that seeks to shore up the nation's cyber-defenses by improving how classified information is shared between the government and the owners and operators of crucial infrastructure, including electric utilities, dams and mass transit. The long-expected order, which Obama announced in his State of the Union speech, is a stopgap measure that follows Congress' failure last year to pass legislation to create comprehensive standards for the private sector to help thwart digital attacks.
NATIONAL
February 8, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Members of the Bush family, including both former presidents, have apparently been hacked, and the Secret Service is investigating. The revelation came after Bush family photos and excerpts of email exchanges were posted online Thursday by the Smoking Gun, which attributed them to a hacker known as “Guccifer.” Guccifer claimed on the website to be a veteran hacker already being sought by “the feds” for hacking hundreds of...
BUSINESS
December 31, 2012 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Microsoft has released a temporary fix for its Internet Explorer browser, which the company says has a security hole that could allow hackers to take over a computer. The security hole, which Microsoft confirmed over the weekend, affects Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8, and could allow malicious code, placed on some unsuspecting websites, to be embedded in a computer system after the browser visited the site.  “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user,” Microsoft wrote in a security advisory released Saturday.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2012 | By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - As head of the FBI's cyber crimes division, Shawn Henry often had to deal with exasperated company executives after his agents informed them that their networks had been hacked and their secrets pilfered. "By whom?" the company officials would ask. "What have they taken? Where did it go?" "Sorry," Henry's agents had to reply, "that's classified. " Even though the FBI in many cases had evidence the attacker had been backed by a foreign intelligence agency, agents couldn't disclose it because the U.S. government believed doing so could compromise top-secret sources and methods.
BUSINESS
October 26, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
In a recent speech to business leaders, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed for the first time how a virus wiped data from more than 30,000 oil company computers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Panetta said the "Shamoon" virus was probably the most destructive attack the business sector has experienced. All of the computers were rendered useless and had to be replaced. The virus replaced crucial system files with a burning American flag and rewrote all the data on the machines.
OPINION
October 17, 2012
Speaking to a group of U.S. business leaders last week, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta issued a dire warning that foreign hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that their online attacks on transportation systems, banks and other vital facilities are escalating. The worst-case scenario, he said, is a "cyber Pearl Harbor" perpetrated by state-sponsored hackers or terrorists that "would cause physical destruction and loss of life, paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Steve Jillings is chief executive of TeleSign, a Marina del Rey company that provides security services to websites. Jillings, 50, took the helm two years ago, and since then TeleSign has grown from 10 employees to more than 100 — with similar growth in revenue. Its clients, mostly in North America and Europe, use TeleSign's software to authenticate users logging in to their websites. Jillings declined to identify his clients but said they run some of the world's largest consumer websites.
NEWS
October 2, 2012 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON - President Obama issued a proclamation Monday making October National Cyber Security Awareness Month. But with cyber security proposals stuck in Congress, the Obama administration is moving to do more than create an awareness month. The White House, as first reported by the Associated Press , began to draft an executive order after the shutdown of the Obama-approved Cyber Security Act of 2012 in the Senate in August . “We are very cognizant that in some industries there exist already regulatory authorities that can be used for cyber security,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at the National Journal's Cyber Security Summit.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Andrew Tangel and Jim Puzzanghera
A shadowy but well organized hacker group in the Middle East has disrupted the electronic banking operations of America's largest financial institutions in recent days, underscoring U.S. vulnerability to online terrorism. A group identifying itself as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters attacked the websites of Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and Bank of America. The strikes left customers temporarily unable to access their checking accounts, mortgages and other services. The banks said account and personal information for their tens of millions of online and mobile customers were not compromised.
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