AN AUTONOMOUS helicopter gunship is flying over a military base in Arizona. Suddenly, officers on the ground lose radio contact: hackers have taken control of an on-board computer. Could they fly the helicopter?
This has happened – well, almost. New Scientist can reveal that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) used this scenario in a drill to test the cybersecurity of an uncrewed Boeing Little Bird helicopter.
Despite the hackers being given unfettered access to the computer, and then trying their hardest to disable the helicopter – even crashing the computer – they could not disrupt critical systems. For DARPA, which is aiming to develop an “unhackable” drone by 2018 as part of its High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) programme, the drill was a success.
This isn’t just about the military, though. The software that kept the helicopter’s computer secure was at the heart of its operating system, and it could be just what the world needs to make everything from pacemakers to insulin pumps and power stations to cars immune to hacking.
The Department of Defense wants to be able to combat cyberattacks before hackers get the chance to steal sensitive files and employees’ data, as well as access the country’s weapons systems. The only way the Pentagon can do that is to be more proactive in dealing with its computers’ and networks’ vulnerabilities.
That’s why it’s building an electronic system that can help them prioritize those flaws, according to how much threat they pose. While data entry will initially be done by hand, the military envisions its final form as an automated system that can instantly detect infiltration attempts and notify cyber response teams to stop them before they can wreak havoc.
From governments to major corporations, cyber attacks are growing rapidly in scope and frequency across the globe. These attacks may soon be considered an “act of war” so having the latest information security training is becoming increasingly important. To be prepared for the future, you must also learn from the past.
Conflicting messages? The Chinese military budget is increasing, including cyber warfare, anti-satellite equipment.
A group of Russian hackers, most notably the Turla APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) is hijacking commercial satellites to hide command-and-control operations, a security firm said today.
Turla APT group, which was named after its notorious software Epic Turla, is abusing satellite-based Internet connections in order to:
- Siphon sensitive data from government, military, diplomatic, research and educational organisations in the United States and Europe.
- Hide their command-and-control servers from law enforcement agencies.
At least one clandestine network of American engineers and scientists who provide technical assistance to U.S. undercover operatives and agents overseas has been compromised as a result, according to two U.S. officials.
The Obama administration has scrambled to boost cyberdefenses for federal agencies and crucial infrastructure as foreign-based attacks have penetrated government websites and email systems, social media accounts and, most important, vast data troves containing Social Security numbers, financial information, medical records and other personal data on millions of Americans.
Three years ago, the world witnessed the worst hack ever seen.
And for the first time, we’re now learning new details about the monstrous cyberattack on Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s largest oil companies…
If the United States were involved in a major cyberwar, just how badly would it be hit? Could the U.S. survive? Could modern civilization survive?
A trio of cyber incidents this morning had some people seeing cyber-armageddon. We’re looking at you, Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida).
Following reports this morning that United Airlines had grounded all of its flights worldwide due to a computer problem, and the New York Stock Exchange had also halted all trading due to its own digital problem there were some who wondering mildly if the two were connected in some way. But then the Wall Street Journal web site also went down and the good senator tweeted that the three together had the makings of a major cyberattack…