Almost two-thirds of all cyber-attacks this year will originate from a growing number of so-called "malnets" -- distributed network infrastructures with names like Shnakule and Glomyn that are designed to lure and trap unsuspecting Web surfers, according to Blue Coat Systems. The security vendor says it is keeping tabs on some 500 unique malnets and subnets where attackers rent space and then use bait ranging from adult content to advertising links to deliver their payload.
American industries that rely on automated control systems that connect to the Internet remain vulnerable to cyber-attacks because of a lack of adequate security, according to the Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, which issued a warning on Friday. According to the FBI, hackers regularly probe U.S. utilities and industrial firms for vulnerabilities; on Oct. 31, Symantec warned about a malware attack that targeted chemical and military assets.
Hackers have launched thousands of cyber-attacks against critical U.S. infrastructure such as financial and transportation assets and have nearly succeeded in crippling key systems, according to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said officials responded to more than 100,000 cybersecurity incidents in fiscal 2011, and she urged Congress to draft stronger laws to protect the nation's most vital networks.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told students at the University of California, Berkeley, that protecting the nation's infrastructure from cyber-attack is a joint endeavor that requires the combined resources and expertise of academia, corporations and the government. Calling the Internet a "civilian space," Napolitano outlined the agency's latest security efforts, including the construction of technical and policy "ecosystems" designed to mirror the fluid nature of cyberspace, and the recently inaugurated National Cyber Incident Response Plan.
Investigations into the cyber-attack on Google in December suggest that Google's password storage system may have been compromised by hackers. While it doesn't appear that passwords were stolen, the hackers may have discovered other vulnerabilities.