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வெள்ளி, ஆகஸ்ட் 06, 2010

SonicWall Names Top 2010 Cybercrime Threats

Attacks against web and SaaS applications comprised just 4% of all cybercrime attacks in 2009, but by July 2010 accounted for 45% of all attacks, outstripping SQL injection, viruses and attacks via FTP.
That finding comes from a new study by firewall vendor SonicWall, examining the biggest threats seen in the first half of 2010.

SonicWall said it's seeing a shift from "simple scams, such as phishing exploits, spoofing of organizations, worms and viruses, to more sophisticated attacks shutting down network servers and cloud-based systems." These more sophisticated and sometimes blended attacks are more difficult to stop than traditional attacks, since they're more likely to exploit never-before-seen, zero-day vulnerabilities and thus foil signature-based defenses.
"With the sophistication of today's attacks, companies need to anticipate that heuristics, algorithms and behavioral analysis will be needed to supplement the security signatures that corporations receive," said Boris Yanovsky, vice president of software engineering at SonicWall.

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One measure of the increasing prevalence of more sophisticated attacks is the volume of malware circulating online, which has increased markedly. Indeed, SonicWall said that the number of instances of malware it detected grew from January to July 2010 by a factor of three -- from 60 million to 180 million. On a daily basis, the firm is now seeing about 3 million malware attempts, 400 million attempted online intrusions and 400 million spam emails.
In the first half of 2010, SonicWall also saw a marked increase in the amount of phishing attacks which utilize tax scams, affecting not just the United States and United Kingdom -- historically popular targets -- but increasingly also Australia, Canada, China and India.
While the SonicWall study rounds up the last six months in cybercrime, what might organizations anticipate, going forward? Expect more malware aimed at smartphones, Apple OS X and iOS, Adobe Acrobat, and smartphones, said Yanovsky. "We also anticipate hacks will exploit bots developed by SpyEye," he said. "This new, web-based crimeware toolkit simplifies stealing financial and sensitive personal information."
In the past year, we've seen more new and sophisticated cyberattacks -- spreading at a faster, more widespread rate -- than ever before. Get some perspective by attending this all-day virtual event that combines our in-depth expertise with insights from some of the industry's most respected security researchers and experts. Join us Aug. 11. Click here to find out more.

US Law Enforcement Holds Meeting on Cyber Security

As the world becomes increasingly dependent on the Internet and computer technology to conduct its business, its social and international relationships and its wars, the threat to those networks from terrorists and criminals becomes more dire. A three day FBI-sponsored conference on cyber-security was attended by leaders in law enforcement, industry, government, and the military and reports on some of the issues involved and strategies proposed.

In the 20 seconds it will take to listen to this paragraph, the world will conduct 680,000 Google searches and send 88 million emails. The world's half billion Facebook users will post 140,000 status updates, and the "Automated Clearing House" computer network that connects all American financial institutions will process 12,000 electronic payments. 

Indeed, the near-boundless scope of Internet use underscores the global threat of cyber crime and terrorism, said FBI Director Robert Mueller during his speech at the 2010 International Conference on Cyber Security at New York's Fordham University.  "We live in a wired world. And our networks help us to stay in touch with family and with friends, collaborate with colleagues worldwide and shop for everything from books to houses. And they help us manage our finances, and make businesses and government more efficient," he said.

But he adds our reliance on these networks also makes us vulnerable. "Criminals use the Internet to commit fraud and theft on a grand scale and to prey upon our children. Spies and terrorists can exploit our networks by attacking our critical infrastructure and threatening our national security," he said.

What makes Internet-based terrorism particularly challenging, says Austin Berglas, who oversees over 1000 special agents in the FBI's New York Cyber Branch, is the way the Internet makes their identities and physical locations extremely difficult to trace. "They don't have to park a car on 42nd street and blow it up. They could disable financial institutions networks and not allow people to access to their funds. They can bring down electrical grids and power grids. They could create a power blackout in New York City. That's an act of terrorism," he said.

The Internet's ability to transmit information instantly across international borders is a strength when done for legitimate purposes, but a huge vulnerability when the intent is malicious or criminal.  The threat is even more dangerous when military computer networks are involved. 

U.S. Navy Captain Daryl Hancock is the intelligence officer assigned to Cyber Command for the United States 10th Fleet. He says that much like the business and government sectors, much of the navy's business is conducted over the World Wide Web.

"We have some closed networks but much of what we rely on is the World Wide Web, the Internet as you know it. That's how we move our supplies; that's how we communicate through those mechanisms. Our biggest concern right now is espionage. People don't do espionage nowadays so much cloak and dagger. They do it through cyberspace. They can do it with a thumb drive. They can do it through hacking into your secure networks and they can exfiltrate [take out] the data that way. So we're focused on defending those networks and keeping them secure," he said.

Hancock says that some Navy weapons systems remain connected to the World Wide Web, and that this makes it possible, at least in theory, for outsiders to hack into those systems, and launch weapons remotely. That's one reason why a huge part of his job is educating Navy personnel to be the first line of defense against cyber-threats.   

"We've got to change the culture of our sailors in order to make them aware of the threats and vulnerabilities so that they can't just introduce things or charge their iPod on a computer that's hooked into our network, or use a thumb drive that's not been cleared and is safe. It's difficult nowadays when everybody has a cell phone, everybody has a Facebook page.  And a lot of that is education - just helping them understand the importance that they play," he said.

As our dependence on the Internet skyrockets, so do the sophistication and number of cyber-security threats, and therefore the number of business dedicated to creating new products and approaches to counter those threats. Traditionally, that has meant firewalls, password codes and the like to prevent criminal from entering one's computer network.  

However, according to Gary Gagnon who directs Cyber Security for the MITRE Corporation, the real challenge is how to minimize damage once a hacker or criminal has actually made it past those first-line defenses. 

"Once the guy is in what happened in your network? What did he do in your network, what has been taken, has been compromised. How do I figure out all the places that he is. So that when I do pull him out I know I've got him out completely and he doesn't have one more toehold in my network that I didn't see. And I think I'm all set and I'm running my business or I'm running my federal government organization again he comes back into that little toehold and begins his operation again. It's a game. He's trying to get in and we're trying to get him out. Industry is starting to see that there is a market for products like that It's a game," he said.

Because the world that gets even more tightly interconnected every day, the stakes of that game could not be higher. Finding the right balance between the freedom of access to information on which the Internet depends, and the need for cyber security and safeguards to privacy on which both prosperity and peace largely depend will remain a challenge far into the future.

NASA Reschedules Spacewalk Repair

Donte Dinish - AHN News Intern
Cape Canaveral, FL, United States (AHN) - The first of two spacewalk repairs by NASA astronauts have been rescheduled to Saturday. The repair is for a broken ammonia pump module aboard the ISS which stopped working last weekend.
According to NASA, engineers, flight controllers, and space experts have made great progress in preparing for Saturdays spacewalk, but need another day to get ready. NASA says the extra time will allow final procedures to be sent late Thursday to the station, which will give the ISS crew a full day to review the plans developed by Mission Control.
Saturday’s spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 5:55 AM CDT, on NASA TV. A second spacewalk that would complete Saturday’s repairs has been arranged for Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7019516916#ixzz0vsTB0PCs

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NASA taps Ford with top honor

NASA awarded its highest civilian honor to Institute for Human and Machine Cognition founder and CEO Ken Ford on Thursday during ceremonies in Washington, D.C.
The Distinguished Public Service Medal was given to Ford to honor his "extraordinary work in significantly contributing to and furthering the mission" of the space agency.
"I am deeply honored to be recognized by NASA to receive this very prestigious medal," Ford said. "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute to the NASA mission, and to be involved with so many extraordinary and committed scientists, engineers, and researchers as we work collaboratively toward ground-breaking innovations that make a difference for our nation."
Previous Distinguished Public Service Medal recipients include Charles H. Townes, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Riccardo Giacconi and Harry H. Hess.
"Dr. Ford represents the very best and brightest that Florida has to offer to the nation, and we are so proud to call him one of our own," Gov. Charlie Crist said. "Ken has long contributed to the advancement of our nation's and state's space programs, and he has shown a dedicated commitment to our state that is quite commendable. I join all Floridians in congratulating Dr. Ford on receiving this well-deserved accolade, and thank him for making a difference in space from right here in Florida."
IHMC research scientist Peter Neuhaus described the NASA award as a reflection of Ford's recognized ability to promote discovery, exploration and research at NASA by bringing together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines.
"The award is a testament to his character," Neuhaus said, "which is not just limited to space exploration, or NASA's advisory councils, but also to his contributions to community life in Pensacola and setting higher goals at IHMC that go beyond just performing research."
Thursday's award is the latest given to Ford for his contributions to NASA and other space-related entities.
For the past three years, Ford has served on the NASA Advisory Council, where he currently serves as chairman. The council provides direct strategic counsel and advice to NASA administrator on programs, issues, and trends of clear importance to the agency and nation.
Ford developed and directed NASA's Center of Excellence in Information Technology at the Ames Research Center in California, and in 1999 was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.
From 2003 to 2009, Ford served as a presidential appointee on the National Science Board.
Ford also served several terms as an appointed member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board.
He has served on the Board of Directors for Space Florida, Inc., to help the state carry out its mission is to strengthen Florida's position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce.
Ford founded the IHMC at the University of West Florida in the early 1990s.
The not-for-profit research institute now is associated with the Florida University System and is considered one of the nation's premier research organizations in robotics and artificial intelligence. It is headquartered in Pensacola and has a branch in Ocala.