Cyber Round Up: Government Workers Responsible for Cyber-Incidents?; UK Research to Stop Flight Cyber Jacking; Cyber-Attack on U.S. Water Systems; New Cybersecurity Law in Japan; Israeli Researchers Remotely Hack a Car

  • To what extend have government workers been responsible for reported cyber-incidents? According to an article by the Associated Press, workers scattered across more than a dozen agencies, from the Defense and Education departments to the National Weather Service, are responsible for at least half of the federal cyber-incidents reported each year since 2010.  At a time when intelligence officials say cybersecurity now trumps terrorism as the No. 1 threat to the U.S., AP reports that the federal government isn’t required to publicize its own brushes with data loss.  AP reports that it has filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests, interviewed hackers, cybersecurity experts and government officials, and obtained documents describing digital cracks in the system, in order to determine the extent of federal cyber-incidents, which include probing into network weak spots, stealing data and defacing websites.
  • According to SC Magazine UK, a cyber-terrorism researcher is helping to develop a network that would act to stop “flight cyber-jacking.” According to the article, “hacking an aircraft is possible if a “cyber bomb” is used, where hackers place malware on a system and it ‘explodes’ onto the system. On airplanes, this could cause a crash.  For a hacker to gain access to an aircraft, they need to figure out a way of navigating its network to control its systems.”  To read how the new research could prevent such attacks, click here for the full article.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that much of the critical infrastructure in the U.S., including major water and wastewater systems, has been jeopardized by a destructive computer malware program, reports WaterWorld. According to the report, this “BlackEnergy” virus has breached integral software used to operate a variety of national industrial processes that include water distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment systems, oil and gas pipelines, wind turbines, power grids, and nuclear plants.
  • The Japan News reports that a new law was passed to counter cyber-attacks.  The article states that under the new law, the government will set up headquarters to be led by the chief cabinet secretary which will draw up a strategy to crack down on cyber-attacks and prevent damage from such attacks from spreading.
  • Former members of an Israeli intelligence unit dedicated to thwarting cyber crimes announced Friday they had remotely hacked into a vehicle that contained an aftermarket device with a big security hole, reports AutoBlog.  According to the article, the vulnerability allowed hackers to control vehicle functions, like unlocking doors and manipulating instrument-cluster readings. They could have also controlled the vehicle’s engine, brakes and steering components.  For the full article, click here.


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One Response to “Cyber Round Up: Government Workers Responsible for Cyber-Incidents?; UK Research to Stop Flight Cyber Jacking; Cyber-Attack on U.S. Water Systems; New Cybersecurity Law in Japan; Israeli Researchers Remotely Hack a Car”

  1. […] the Department of Homeland Security reported that a destructive computer malware program called “BlackEnergy” had infected software integral to the nation’s industrial processes, including water distribution […]

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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