U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned on Friday, Oct. 12 that a possible “cyber Pearl Harbor” may be looming. Panetta has proposed an army of “skilled cyber warriors” be formed to fend off this possible terrorists attack. hackers have already gained access, Panetta said, to some of the nation’s control systems for electricity and water supplies.
Terrorists are flexing their cyber muscles in various parts of the world. In Saudi Arabia, a recent cyber attack on Aramco, the state oil company resulted in the need to replace 30,000 computers. Critical files on the computers had been replaced with a photo of a burning American flag.
Some U.S. banks, recently Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, have experienced cyber attacks that denied access to their customers or greatly slowed banking processes. Iran has been blamed for these banking glitches.
A statement was posted by so-called Muslim hackers on Pastebin on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The group blamed the United States and Zionists for making a sacrilegious movie insulting Islam and other religions. The group promised Muslim youth involved in the cyber world would attack bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange, according to SkyNews.
In addition to a possible cyber Pearl Harbor, the federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an Internet Safety Alert.
There is now an alliance between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the FBI. Together they have formed the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). By going to “www.ic3.gov”, internet crime victims can report and alert agencies regarding suspected violations. IC3 collects and reviews these complaints and forwards them to the appropriate agencies. They also identify current crime trends over the Internet with their monthly Scam Alerts.
In the September Scam Alert, they detail the Triangle Credit Card Fraud, and new twists to the Hit Man Scam and the Work-at-Home Scheme. August Scam Alerts highlighted the Fake Political Survey (promising a cruise to the Bahamas), an Online Phonebook which allows anyone to track someone else by GPS, Free Credit Service that isn’t free at all, and a new Citadel malware that delivers ransomeware called Reveton. Reveton lures the victim to the web site and installs ransomeware on their computer. The computer freezes and a display says the person has violated US Federal law visiting a site with child pornography or other illegal activity. If they pay $100 by a prepaid money card service, they will get their computer unlocked. After being unlocked the computer is used in “online banking and credit card fraud” according to IC3.
To see if you are typically a safe Internet user, go to “www.LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com”.