Cyber Round Up: Phishing Campaigns Target Critical Infrastructure, Energy Department Struck by Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity Danger is Growing

  • Phishing Campaigns Target Critical Infrastructure (The Hill): The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), released a report last week warning critical infrastructure providers about a nefarious spear-phishing campaign, according to The Hill.  According to the article, this campaign involves Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors initiating phishing e-mails that are targeting users within the energy, manufacturing, chemical, and government sectors.  This is particularly vexing in light of the article’s reference to a statement that National Security Agency (NSA) Director Michael Rogers reportedly told reporters [last fall] that China and one or more other nations possessed the capability to shut down portions of critical U.S. infrastructure during a cyberattack.  The full article can be found here.
  • Energy Department Struck by Cyber Attacks (USA Today): United States Department of Energy (DOE) computer systems were successfully compromised more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014, according to USA Today.  Using records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), USA Today determined that the DOE which contains sensitive data related to the nation’s power grid, energy labs, as well as nuclear weapons were attacked 1,131 times during the four-year period and of those, 159 attacks were successful, according to the article. Furthermore, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) which is the agency within DOE that secures and oversees the Nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile was successfully attacked 19 times during the aforementioned timeframe, according to USA Today.  Additionally, the article notes that an October 2014 audit of the DOE found that 41 DOE servers and 14 workstations were configured with either default or “easily guessed” passwords.  The full article can be found here.
  • Cyber Security Danger is Growing (Washington Times): Michael Rogers, the Commander of  U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency (NSA) Director, is pushing for an extension of military capabilities as Rogers believes this should be an integral part of U.S. cyber capabilities,  the Washington Times reported.  According to the article, Rogers is working diligently to integrate cyberwarfare capabilities into existing war-fighting commands so they can be leveraged when attacks necessitate DoD involvement.  The Washington Times article further indicates that Rogers believes that the military capabilities the U.S. possesses for cyberwarfare is somewhat hamstrung since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the lead agency for government cybersecurity whereas Rogers argues that the NSA and Cyber Command are in better positions and have more expertise in this area. The full article can be found here.
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Authors

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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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