Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bank of Israel Website Attacked

The Bank of Israel is reporting that its website has been repeatedly attacked by Islamic 'hackers' using an Algerian server.

From the report, it appears the bank's IT staff had not adequately addressed known security vulnerabilities.
"Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer was taken by surprise by the hacking of the bank's website last week, and in a moment of anger announced that he would fire those responsible."

Fischer incensed at website security breakdown

Cyber Warfare Article

TechNewsWorld has published a series of articles on politically motivated attacks. The articles discuss the Estonia attacks and Russian and Chinese 'hackers'. The second part discussed the broader issues of asymmetric warfare and the (mostly U.S.) response to the issues.
"These cyber attacks are extremely worrisome because politically supported attacks have the backing of strong entities. Sponsors of these cyber attacks are trying to gain control to the keys to the kingdom..."

The Art of Cyber Warfare, Part 1: The Digital Battlefield
The Art of Cyber Warfare, Part 2: Digital Defense

Radio Free Europe Websites Hit by DoS Attacks

Several websites owned by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) have been shutdown by denial of service attacks in recent days.

RFE/RL stated the attacks started on the website for Belarus service and spread to other RFE/RL sites and other organizations in Minsk.

RFE/RL believe the attacks are attempts by regional governments to censor news:
"RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin said he is deeply concerned by the attacks. "If free and independent media existed in these countries where we're working and broadcasting, we would have no reason to exist," Gedmin said. "The Belarusians, the Iranians -- they all have basically the same objective. They see free information -- flowing information of ideas and so forth -- as the oxygen of civil society. They'll do anything they can to cut it off. If it means jamming, if it means cyberattacks, that's what they'll do."

US radio websites in Eastern Europe hit by cyberattack: bosses

Other related articles:

Belarus: RFE/RL Cites Online 'Solidarity' in Face of Cyberattack

U.S. Denounces Attack On RFE/RL Websites

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Estonia Preparing for Further Attacks

The Guardian newspaper has a brief article on Estonian concerns for further cyber attacks on the one year anniversary of the attacks believed to have been motivated by Russian anger over the movement of a Soviet war memorial.
"With the anniversary of the attacks looming, senior officials are preparing for a repeat performance. One official said there had been many smaller attempts to hack into government systems during the last 12 months but they were not as organised or successful as last year's attacks."

Estonia prepares for repeat of cyberattacks on anniversary

Monday, April 07, 2008

NATO and EU Concern on Cybercrime

In separate meetings last week, both the EU and NATO organizations discussed cyberterror issues and their need to respond.

The Council of Europe will review the new Convention on Cybercrime and discuss how to strengthen online anti-terrorism activities.

Separately, politically motivated computer crime was discussed at the NATO summit held in Romania including how member countries can better coordinate online defense activities.
"World leaders gathered in Bucharest for this week’s NATO summit are debating what role the trans-Atlantic alliance can play in containing “cyberterrorists,” “hacktivists” and other emerging menaces that experts concede are untraditional, but still potentially lethal."

Most of the concern quoted in the press center around the cyber attacks against Estonia.

European Union, NATO to tackle cybercrime

NATO grows increasingly concerned about terrorism on world's computer networks

Israeli Websites Defaced

A London-based Arabic-language newspaper, al-Sharq al-Awsat, reported a claim of responsibility by Islamic Jihad supporters for attacks on Israeli websites. The attacks are apparent protests for the killing by IDF of Hassan Shakura, the former head of the Islamic Jihad's media warfare division.

The article points out this type of attack alone is not a major threat:

"Website defacement of this nature requires only basic programming know-how and usually boils down to changing the main page – a file easy to reconstruct.

"Smaller sites are the ones most vulnerable to defacement, since large sites, databases and electronic commerce website usually have high-level security systems at their disposal.

"A statement by any terror group pointing to a unit dedicated to defacing websites does not necessarily indicate any operational sophistication, since any teenager with basic programming skills can do the same."

Islamic Jihad says hacked Israeli websites