Cyber Round Up: US Arms Vulnerable; Hacked: Malaysia Airlines and Israel Defense Computers; World Forum Corporate Cybersecurity

  • U.S. Arms Programs Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks: Pentagon’s chief weapons tester reported on the cybersecurity of U.S. weapons program, and according to Reuters, the results are dismal.  Reuters reviewed the findings of the report, which found that nearly every U.S. weapons program tested in fiscal year 2014 showed “significant vulnerabilities” to cyberattacks.  According to Reuters, the report said tests of more than 40 weapons revealed problems with cybersecurity, and U.S. troops needed to learn to “fight through” cyber attacks, just as they do now with conventional attacks.  For the full article, click here.
  • Malaysia Airlines HACKED: The Malaysia Airlines website was hacked on Monday by hackers who referenced the Islamic State jihadists and claimed to be from the “Lizard Squad,” a group known for previous denial-of-service attack, reports The Wall Street Journal.  According to the article, this is the same group that claimed responsibility in December for a cyberattacks on videogame servers of Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp.  A Malaysian cybersecurity agency determined that the it was a case of domain hacking.  The article explains that tampering with domain names to divert traffic from the intended site would generally require less sophistication than a more complex breach in which a company’s servers are compromised and data is exposed. To read more about the response and the exact messages sent by the hackers, click here for the full article.
  • Israel Defense Computer HACKED: According to Reuters, Hackers broke into an Israeli defense ministry computer via an email attachment tainted with malicious software that looked like it had been sent by the country’s Shin Bet secret security service. They reportedly took over several computers, one of them belonging to Israel’s Civil Administration that monitors Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territory, reports Reuters.  Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Seculert, told Reuters that Palestinians were suspected to be behind the cyber attack, citing similarities to a cyber assault on Israeli computers waged more than a year ago from a server in the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip.  To read the full article, click here.

  • Corporate Cyber Attacks “Hot Topic” at WEF Forum: BBC News reports that at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the threat of corporate cyber attacks took center stage due to a WEF report warning that weak cybersecurity could cost the global economy $3 trillion.  According to BBC News,  the most enthusiastically endorsed plan is the need for a global body that sets cyber-security standards.  The article also points out that the talk has shifted from how to stop cyber attacks, to how businesses can manage them when they are inevitably attacked.  For the full article, click here.  To read the WEF report, click here.
  • Other Cyber Security News:
    • Singapore Launches Cyber Agency: The Business Times reports that Singapore launched prepared to tackle emerging cyber security threats with a new agency to combat cyber attacks and formulate cybersecurity policy.  According to the report, the agency, called the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), will function on the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).  To read more about the functions and goals of this new agency, click here for the full articleReuters also reported on the agency, to read their report click here.
    • Australia Cyber Offense: The Diplomat reports that Australia has been using hacker units to go on the offensive.  According to the article, the small team of Australian cyber warriors is developing its own malware (with the support of the Defense Science and Technology Organization), yet uses payloads from the larger repertoire of their allies at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to increase the effectiveness of their cyber weapons. Read the full article here.  To read the Financial Times report that first revealed the offensive attacks, click here.
    • Cyber Threats Target Airlines: reports that cyber experts are struggling to attribute the source to threatening tweets against several airlines that resulted in several flights over the weekend being diverted or forced to land.  According to the article, attribution has been difficult for two reasons: “it’s extremely difficult to trace some of these social media posts, particularly since these accounts don’t need to be verified,” and “not only can the accounts be created by anyone, they can be created anywhere and do not tie the user to any particular location on the planet.” Read the full article here.
    • Bloomberg Poll: Responding to Cyber Attacks, Gov’t Over Corporations: A Bloomberg poll shows that people believe the government should be responsible for responding to cyber attacks.  According to the latest results in Bloomberg’s quarterly poll of 481 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers, some 71 percent of respondents said corporations need to defer to law-enforcement agencies to take such actions. Sixteen percent said businesses should be allowed to retaliate, and 13 percent said they weren’t sure.  Read the full article for analysis of the results by clicking here.
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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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