The director of the National Security Agency said on Wednesday that the United States should develop a policy to protect cyberspace based on the nearly 200-year-old Monroe Doctrine, which declared that any effort to interfere with nations in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as “dangerous to our peace and safety.”
During a hearing of the House Armed Services’ Terrorism and Unconventional Threats Subcommittee
Alexander told the hearing that the United States should extend its cyber-defensive perimeter beyond its gateways on U.S. soil, which currently protect Defense networks. He said a “castle-moat” approach to network defense would not work if it faced a massive denial-of-service attack mounted by an army of botnets. Instead, the United States must defend against a cyberattack by going after the botnets “at their point of origin,” Alexander said.
Soooo….then, that could mean physical use of force against computers in another country if they are believed to be part of a botnet? – post by TransTracker
Civilian air-traffic computer networks have been penetrated multiple times in recent years, including an attack that partially shut down air-traffic data systems in Alaska, according to a government report.
The report, which was released by the Transportation Department’s inspector general Wednesday, warned that the Federal Aviation Administration’s modernization efforts are introducing new vulnerabilities that could increase the risk of cyberattacks on air-traffic control systems. The FAA is slated to spend approximately $20 billion to upgrade its air-traffic control system over the next 15 years.
The nature of one 2006 attack is a matter of dispute between the inspector general and the FAA. The report says the attack spread from administration networks to air-traffic control systems, forcing the FAA to shut down a portion of its traffic control systems in Alaska. Ms. Brown said it affected only the local administrative system that provides flight and weather data to pilots, primarily of small aircraft.
Last year, hackers of unspecified origin “took over FAA computers in Alaska” to effectively become agency insiders, and traveled the agency networks to Oklahoma, where they stole the network administrator’s password and used it to install malicious codes, the report said. These hackers also gained the ability to obtain 40,000 FAA passwords and other information used to control the administrative network, it said.
Tom Kellermann, a vice president at Core Security Technologies, a cybersecurity company, likened the threats cited by the report to the television show “24” in which terrorists hack into and commandeer the FAA’s air-traffic control system to crash planes. “The integrity of the data on which ground control is relying can be manipulated, much as seen in ’24,'” he said.
When intrusions are detected, they aren’t addressed quickly enough, the report said. Fifty unresolved incidents had been open for more than three months, it found, “including critical incidents in which hackers may have taken over control” of computers within the FAA’s operations wing.