Entries in Cyber Attack (9)


Should Companies Be Required to Disclose Cyber Attacks?

Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission is now advising publicly traded companies such as Bank of America to disclose harmful cyber attacks as a part of their annual reporting procedure to federal regulators.

The SEC laid out guidance last week; the advisory coming out less than two weeks after Bank of America denied allegations of a cyber attack against its consumer website. The bank attributed the disruption in service to “high volume.”

 “This guidance fundamentally changes the way companies will address cybersecurity in the 21st century,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., in a statement. “For years, cyber risks and incidents material to investors have gone unreported in spite of existing legal obligations to disclose them.”

Under the old guidelines, companies were not obligated to disclose cyber attacks to investors because they did not technically constitute a material loss.  But many experts estimate that U.S. companies have already lost billions of dollars to foreign competitors in the form of intellectual property rights.

But some companies are choosing to ignore cyber threats out of financial hardship.  The computer security firm McAfee found that more than half of all companies surveyed in 2008 did not pursue investigations into a cyber incident because of cost.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Amid Hacking Probe, LulzSec Hacks News Corp.-Owned Website

WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- After calling it quits three weeks ago following 50 days of high profile hacks that included PBS, Sony, and Nintendo -- among others -- the hacker group LulzSec has struck again. This time, the group set it sights on Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., amid the fallout from Murdoch's News International phone hacking scandal.

In the first cyber attack against a major U.K. newspaper’s website, LulzSec reportedly hacked the site of the News International-owned The Sun early Tuesday morning, local time. The site address redirected visitors to a story reporting Murdoch’s death on The Times of London site. The story suggested Murdoch had intentionally ingested poison to take his own life.

LulzSec claimed on their Twitter account that they were "sitting on their [The Sun's] emails" and that they would release the emails on Tuesday. They also claimed to know Rebekah Brooks' email password.

News International's corporate web page went down on Tuesday as a result, and The Times of London website faced issues loading. It is unclear whether News Corp. disabled those sites.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sega Hit by Hackers

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- Videogame giant Sega is the latest company to have its computer systems attacked by hackers.

Sega’s online database was reportedly the subject of a cyber attack, with hackers being able to gain unauthorized access to personal information belonging to almost 1.3 million customers. The attack occurred on Friday, with information from customers of the company’s Sega Pass service being accessed.

The compromised information included names, email addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords, according to published reports. Sega said it does not store personal payment information, such as credit card information, as such is handled by external parties.

Recently Sony was the target of hackers which resulted in the PlayStation Network being shut down for almost a month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pentagon to Take Military Action Against Cyber Attacks?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Hacker attacks have become more widespread and damaging lately, enough so that the government is considering stepping in and taking military action.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some top officials at the Pentagon are now calling computer sabotage an act of war, and are considering using military force as one way to respond to the malicious attacks against the U.S.  Doing so may warn potential adversaries about hacking.

Internet security lawyer Parry Aftab says there's no such thing as a harmless cyber attack.

"Everything on the Internet belongs to someone," he says.

Businesses also stand to lose a lot if hacked and have been at the center of the most recent breaches.  Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and broadcaster PBS were the latest victims of cyber break-ins this past weekend.  Prior to that, Sony's PlayStation network was hacked, compromising the accounts of more than 100 million customers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hackers Target Lockheed Martin

Stockbyte/Martin Poole(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Global security company Lockheed Martin said its information system network was the target of a “significant and tenacious attack” on May 21.

The company issued a news release on Saturday saying that the attack was picked up by Lockheed Martin’s information security team “almost immediately,” and that its personnel took swift and deliberate action to protect the company’s systems and data.

This aggressive action, has allowed the company’s systems to remain secure, and no customer, program or employee personal data was compromised in the hack attack, say company officials.

Lockheed Martin is a global security firm that specializes in research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services, according to the company’s website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Game On: Sony Begins Restoring PlayStation Network

Photodisc/Ableimages(TOKYO) -- Gamers can now return to their familiar positions in front of a television screen with controllers in hand, as Sony has announced that restoration of its PlayStation Network has begun.

The restoration comes after the network had been down since April 20, following a criminal cyber-attack on Sony’s data-center located in San Diego, California.

By Sunday morning service had been restored throughout the entire United States and to some other parts of the world, however, the PlayStation store remained offline.

On the PlayStation blog website, the company urged gamers to update the firmware on their PlayStation 3 systems and to change their passwords.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio


Sony Hack: Is Another One on the Way?

Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures(NEW YORK) -- As if the recent wave of hacks wasn't enough, Sony might soon be in for another, according to a new report.

Citing an "observer of the Internet Relay Chat channel used by the hackers," the tech site CNET said that a third major hack against Sony has been planned for the weekend of May 7, 2011. According to the report, the hackers plan to not only break into the company's network but to publicize some or all of the information they can grab, including customer names, credit card numbers and addresses.

This latest threat comes two weeks after a network security breach that Sony said might have compromised personal information, including credit card data, for a reported 100 million PlayStation and online gaming customers. On Thursday, Sony CEO Howard Stringer apologized for "the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack."

According to CNET, the hackers behind this latest planned attack say they already have some of Sony's servers under their control.

But Chester Wisniewski, senior security adviser for security firm Sophos Labs, said the report may turn out to be false.

"This might be a baseless rumor," Wisniewski said, adding that he's familiar with the Internet Relay Chat forum and believes it's filled mostly with "bluster."

Still, Wisniewski said, while the recent attacks have been devastating for Sony and its customers (himself included), the company's recent actions made it an attractive target for the hacker community.

In early April, the loosely affiliated international hacker group Anonymous posted a statement online promising Sony that it would experience "the wrath of Anonymous" after Sony took legal action against George Hotz, a PlayStation 3 user. Sony claimed Hotz had broken the law by sharing information on how to hack the system to play pirated videogames, but the two parties later announced that they had settled the matter.

In the past few months, the company further upset “techies” when it revoked the PlayStation 3's ability to run the operating system Linux, according to Wisniewski. Several customers bought the PlayStation 3 specifically for its Linux capabilities, which allowed the system to work as a general computer, he said.

"They certainly have done a lot of things over the years to annoy the most skilled attacker kinds of people," said Wisniewski.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Death of Osama Bin Laden Spurs New Cyber-Scams

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The Better Business Bureau Thursday warned about a "slew of cyber-scams" that have appeared online in the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden. 

Internet security firm Kapersky Labs reports malicious online scams targeting social media sites such as Facebook as well as Google Images searches. 

One example on Facebook features a video claiming to show the death of Osama bin Laden.  When Facebook users click on the malicious URL, warns the BBB, a virus could infect the users' computers.

Another scam involves the circulation of a letter seemingly written by a "soldier," asking for readers for help in transferring millions of dollars to a "trustworthy" U.S. citizen.

The BBB recommends several ways consumers can avoid these scams:

1.  Think before you click.  The BBB notes that no photos or videos related to Osama bin Laden's death have been released and consumers should "be extremely skeptical of links that say otherwise."

2.  Don't fall for the not-so-free "free" offer.  Web users should be wary of sites claiming to "celebrate" any sort of occasion with free offers or giveaways, particularly if you have not heard of the company before.

3.  Spread the word.  The BBB encourages consumers to discuss cyber-scams with friends or family who have access to the Internet.

4.  Know the red flags.  Scam emails and websites often are riddled with grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.  Cyber-scammers also may ask people to wire money to resolve various situations.  The BBB says these are red flags and Web users should look be skeptical when they come across them.

5.  Check with the BBB.  For more information on how to protect yourself from cyber-scams, visit

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sony: Some Playstation Network Services to Resume

Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures(TOKYO) -- Sony has some good news for Playstation gamers, as the company announced that some Playstation Network services will resume in the coming week.

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International announced Sunday that some steps have been taken to enhance the network’s security and that Playstation Network and Qriocity services such as gaming, music and video services will soon be turned on.

Playstation gamers around the world have been unable to play using the online network since April 20, when the system was shut down following a criminal cyber-attack on Sony’s data-center located in San Diego, California.

The company says personal data of some 77 million customers was accessed by an unauthorized person between April 17 and April 19. Credit card information from some customers may have been accessed; however, the company was unable to confirm whether or not credit card data was taken.

Officials say the FBI is now conducting an investigation into the cyber-attack.

Sony says it also has plans to launch a “Welcome Back” program, which will provide customers around the world with “service options and premium content as an expression of the company’s appreciation for their patience, support and continued loyalty.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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