The President Makes Cybersecurity a National Priority — Internet’s Growing Security Problem — Part XII

June 4, 2009

The President’s Cybersecurity announcement 5-29 was a game changer for the Internet. For the first time the U.S. Government officially declared the lack of cybersecurity as the Internet’s biggest problem.

  • It is interesting to note there was instant disagreement with the President’s assessment from some in the Web 2.0 world. Speakers at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference in Washington this week said (per Washington Internet Daily) that:
    • Cybersecurity threats in general are wildly overstated or portrayed as malevolent acts when some of the best known incidents have come through accidents or simple security holes.”
  • I have been writing this now twelve-part series: “The open Internet’s growing security problem” since the beginning of the year, precisely because many continue to deny the growing mountain of evidence from mainstream sources that the Internet security problem is getting worse not better.
  • Fortunately, President Obama gets it.

Here is the latest mainstream evidence of the open Internet’s growing security problem.

“Mysterious virus strikes FBI” ZDNet

  • The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service were forced to shut down parts of their computer networks after a mystery virus struck the law-enforcement agencies Thursday, according to an Associated Press report.. 

    “The Web’s most dangerous keywords to search for” ZDNet

    Cybercrime Time

    • “We want to avoid a cyber Pearl Harbor.”

    “Spammers harvesting emails from Twitter in real time” ZDNet

    • “…a new crafty search technique can provide spammers with fresh and valid emails harvested from Twitter’s users in real-time.”

    “The hacks are troubling in that they appear to have rendered useless supposedly sophisticated Defense Department tools and procedures designed to prevent such breaches. The department and its branches spend millions of dollars each year on pricey security and antivirus software and employ legions of experts to deploy and manage the tools.”

     

    “Anti-U.S. hackers infiltrate Army servers” Information Week

     

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    “Nuclear sites posted on the Internet” AP

    “Scammers infest YouTube comments, Google search results” USA Today

    • You really can’t completely trust Google search query results, nor interact safely with comments on popular YouTube videos. Why? Because purveyors of scareware — those obnoxious promotions that try to entice you to spend $39 to $59 for worthless antivirus cleanup and protection — have corrupted these popular services.”

    “Facebook users warned on security” Broadband Finder

    • “…the fact that Facebook was subject to certain weaknesses made it susceptible to periodical abuse. …It was recently revealed that Facebook had fallen victim to a new online phishing scam that saw around 200 million of its users targeted by hackers.”

    “The scrap value of a hacked PC” Washington Post

    • “…please refer the misguided person to this blog post, which attempts to examine some of the more common — yet often overlooked — ways that cyber crooks can put your PC to criminal use.”

     

     

    See previous parts of this series here: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, & XI.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

“Security is a top concern with a smart electrical grid” NextGov

  • The threat against the nation’s power grid was first widely realized in March 2007, when researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory demonstrated to the Homeland Security Department how they could go online to hack into the programs that control a generator and manipulate settings so it would self-destruct.” 
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