Critical Infrastructure Faces Growing Risk of Cyberwarfare, FBI Says
by Steve Rosenbush, WSJ
War is viewed as a continuation of politics by other means, and cyberwarfare plays a growing role in both realms. The attack on Sony Entertainment (more on that below), may have been launched by North Korea in response to a Sony movie that the regime didn’t like. The point wasn’t financial gain, but political expression. And there are more signs that businesses and critical infrastructure increasingly face the risk of getting caught in similar conflict.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned U.S. businesses last week about the existence of a sophisticated Iranian hacking operation, which may target the defense industry as well as universities and energy firms. The FBI is asking businesses to contact the FBI if they believe they might have been hit by those operations. Reuters says the report issued by the FBI contains details about malware and advice about how companies can stem attacks.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports on a February cyberattack against Las Vegas Sands Corp. that flatlined computers, erased drives and sent IT staffers scrambling “across the casino floors of Sands’ Vegas properties—the Venetian and its sister hotel, the Palazzo—ripping network cords out of every functioning computer they could find.” Experts believe the attack was linked to a group working close to or for the Iran government. The purpose was not to steal, but to make a very powerful statement. Before the attack, CEO Sheldon Adelson made public remarks in favor of dropping a nuclear weapon on Iran. These cases should convince U.S. businesses that they are potential targets in an expanding theater of conflict, and they should make sure that their networks, communications and business operations are based in an understanding of that reality.