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Cyberattacks Could Become as Destructive as 9/11: Panetta

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Pentagon and American intelligence agencies are seeing an increase in cyber threats that could become as devastating as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks if they aren’t stopped.

“A cyber attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11,” Panetta said last night. “Such a destructive cyber terrorist attack could paralyze the nation.”

The Defense Department is drafting new rules that will allow the military to defend U.S. “national interests” in addition to its own computer networks, Panetta said in prepared remarks delivered in New York on board the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier that’s now a museum.

Panetta offered the highest-level confirmation to date of recent cyber attacks on U.S. and international computer networks and faulted Congress for failing to pass comprehensive cybersecurity legislation this year. In the absence of such a law, President Barack Obama’s administration may issue an executive order, Panetta said. More...

10-12-2012 15:50

Cyber Attacks on U.S. Banks Expose Computer Vulnerability

Cyber attacks on the biggest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) & Co., have breached some of the nation’s most advanced computer defenses and exposed the vulnerability of its infrastructure, said cybersecurity specialists tracking the assaults.

The attack, which a U.S. official yesterday said was waged by a still-unidentified group outside the country, flooded bank websites with traffic, rendering them unavailable to consumers and disrupting transactions for hours at a time.

Such a sustained network attack ranks among the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the National Security Agency, according to the U.S. official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The extent of the damage may not be known for weeks or months, said the official, who has access to classified information. More...

09-28-2012 16:33

Wells Fargo is latest bank to be hit by cyberattacks

As several banks experience outages, one group claims responsibility, saying it's retaliating for the anti-Islam movie and will continue its onslaught until the film is taken off the Web.

Wells Fargo is the most recent mega-bank to be hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack. According to the Wall Street Journal, roughly 220 customers filed complaints of outages on its Web site today saying they had problems logging on.

"The amount of bandwidth that is flooding the websites is very large, much larger than in other attacks, and in a sense unprecedented," chief executive of private security firm CrowdStrike Dmitri Alperovitch told the Wall Street Journal. More...

09-26-2012 15:50