UK infrastructure faces cyber threat, says GCHQ chief

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Aurora
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UK infrastructure faces cyber threat, says GCHQ chief

Post by Aurora »

BBC News - 13/10/10

The UK's critical infrastructure - such as power grids and emergency services - faces a "real and credible" threat of cyber attack, the head of GCHQ says.

The intelligence agency's director Iain Lobban said the country's future economic prosperity rested on ensuring a defence against such assaults.

Article continues ...
Fact or fiction? Is this a tangible threat or is Mr. Lobban just trying to defend/increase his operational budget?
syberberg
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Post by syberberg »

It's a tough one, as every single internet accessing I/O port is vulnerable to sustained attack. Sooner or later a determined attacker will get through and it's a constant "arms race" between hacker and intrusion countermeasure. So he is right about the firewall vs. worm problem.

A lot of the talk is the usual scaremongering, for as long as critical infrastructure systems (like power stations) are kept off grid and don't access the internet at all, they are only vulnerable to attack from direct access inside the building, by say virus introduction via internal terminal. Which is where finger-print and iris recognition soft/hardware applications come into their own (I'm seriously against biometric profiling/ID for the general population as it solves nothing in the way of security problems).

The best way to protect critical databases, such as the one used by the NHS, from attack is to use dedicated fibre optic lines connecting each hospital and doctors' surgery with each other and all terminals that access the data base to require biometric passes. It's hideously expensive, but one of the most secure ways of maintaining the database security from outside, malicious intrusion, while allowing hospitals/doctors to access the patient data they require.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

syberberg wrote: as long as critical infrastructure systems (like power stations) are kept off grid
Not sure how well power staions work off grid... :?
Aurora
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Post by Aurora »

MoD budgets are under intense scrutiny and senior figures in the various services are all currently trying to justify their excessive expenditures.

Here's another example:
BBC News - 10/10/10

A senior RAF officer has warned that cuts to military aircraft numbers would leave the UK vulnerable to attack.

Air Marshal Timo Anderson, director general of the Military Aviation Authority, addressed MPs in a private talk, and gave a stark assessment on cuts expected to be outlined next week.

The RAF is expected to lose significant numbers of jet fighters in spending cuts of up to 10% over four years.

AM Anderson said it would be harder to combat a 9/11-style attack.

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Blue Peter
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Re: UK infrastructure faces cyber threat, says GCHQ chief

Post by Blue Peter »

Aurora wrote: Fact or fiction? Is this a tangible threat or is Mr. Lobban just trying to defend/increase his operational budget?
FWIW, Stuart Staniford's blog had a posting on the possibility of a cyber-attack on cars: Cripple Transport. I believe that he works in the field, so what he says has some kind of authority. It would appear to be quite a difficult enterprise, but not impossible, and I suspect that PO might be more effective anyway :wink:

WRT the MOD budget, I think that the UK needs to decide what it wants to be / needs to be / should be, which is a bit of a luxury, as Paul Mason says. Is it more important that we get spanked in Afghanistan or that we protect our critical infrastructure?


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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

Not just the UK:
A Turkmen human rights activist living in exile in Austria has had his web site hacked and threats of a physical attack on him have been conveyed to him indirectly, apparently by Turkmen security forces. Farid Tuhbatullin, head of the exile group Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights [TIHR], who directs the website chrono-tm.org told EurasiaNet that his group’s website was disabled all last week due to an attack by unknown hackers.

On September 28, Tuhbatullin gave an interview in Russian to the satellite TV channel K+, which broadcasts to Central Asia including Turkmenistan. The interview was twice shown on September 29, and later posted to the YouTube Turkmen Dissident TV channel.

[...] On October 1, chrono-tm.org was attacked, and much of the content, including the English language section could not be displayed for some days. TIHR changed from a Moscow host to another one abroad and the site is back up again.
http://www.neweurasia.net/media-and-int ... hreatened/
MacG
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Post by MacG »

Stupid people who watched "Die Hard 4.0" and believed in it. Wonder what will be the next movie plot they try to stage? Goldfinger?

Edit: El Reg is on my side:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/13 ... ike_hooey/
syberberg
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Post by syberberg »

biffvernon wrote:
syberberg wrote: as long as critical infrastructure systems (like power stations) are kept off grid
Not sure how well power staions work off grid... :?
:lol: You know what I mean Biff. The telecommunication grid/network. Happy now? :wink:

By the way, you missed a "t" in stations out. :wink:
syberberg
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Post by syberberg »

MacG wrote:Stupid people who watched "Die Hard 4.0" and believed in it. Wonder what will be the next movie plot they try to stage? Goldfinger?

Edit: El Reg is on my side:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/13 ... ike_hooey/
International Space Station + gene targeting bio-warfare = Moonraker :wink:
Aurora
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Post by Aurora »

The Guardian - 13/10/10

Science spending cuts should come mainly from the MoD's R&D budget, not research into health and environmental problems.

Article continues ...
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

A local authority has suffered a significant cyber attack.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51504482
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Vortex2
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Post by Vortex2 »

A digger killed 1/3rd of the UK web when it cut a cable outside Telehouse some years ago.

Who needs cyber tech to cripple the web?
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