Category GOVERNMENT

Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

By Noah Shachtman A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones. The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying […]

China software bug makes infrastructure vulnerable

By Jim Finkle NEW YORK | Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:28pm EDT (Reuters) – Software widely used in China to help run weapons systems, utilities and chemical plants has bugs that hackers could exploit to damage public infrastructure, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The department issued an advisory on Thursday warning of vulnerabilities […]

House drastically cuts DHS science and technology

The Republican majority in the House last week passed a proposed DHS budget which drastically cuts the department’s Science & Technology Directorate’s (S&T) budget by 52 percent, from $827 million to $398 million; the Obama administration has requested $1.2 billion for that program in fiscal year 2012, which begins on 1 October; the S&T reductions […]

House Panel Wants To Cut Border Tech Funding

House Panel Wants To Cut Border Tech Funding Despite all of the concern over U.S. border security and the billions sunk into supporting technologies, a House Appropriations Committee markup of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget proposes cutting border control technology efforts. While the committee wants the Coast Guard to have an additional […]

Serious hole in critical-infrastructure software, says U.S.

by Elinor Mills The U.S. government is warning critical-infrastructure operators of a serious hole in software used in oil and gas; water; electric utilities; and manufacturing plants around the world. The stack overflow vulnerability affects the Genesis32 supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and BizViz software sold by ICONICS, according to an advisory (PDF) released […]

An Iranian military commander has accused German engineering company Siemens

(Reuters) – An Iranian military commander has accused German engineering company Siemens of helping the United States and Israel launch a cyber attack on its nuclear facilities, Kayhan daily reported on Sunday. Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran’s civilian defense, said the Stuxnet virus aimed at Iran’s atomic program was the work of its two biggest […]

TSA brings 100% cargo screening forward to 2011

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has brought forward its 100 per cent cargo screening target to 31 December 2011; the earliest possible implementation date for 100 per cent screening was initially thought to be 2013, given the complex challenges associated with screening international inbound cargo carried on passenger aircraft; now 100 per cent of the […]

GAO finds critical shortfalls in cyber security guidelines for smart grid

 The GAO issued a report that found critical shortfalls in the proposed guidelines for modernizing the smart grid; the proposed guidelines, released by NIST and the FERC, contained several shortcomings that would leave the nation’s security grid vulnerable to cyber attack; “missing pieces” in the guideline include a lack of metrics to evaluate cyber security, […]

Estonia considers draft for newly created cyber army in emergency

Estonia just announced the creation of an all-volunteer cyber army; the Cyber Defense League unites computer experts from the private sector and the government; the League conducts regular drills and operates under a unified military command; Estonian defense officials are contemplating instituting a cyber expert draft in the event of a serious national crisis; Estonia […]

Israel Tests on Stuxnet Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay

Ralph Langner, an independent computer security expert, solved Stuxnet. The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal. Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, […]