F35, Power Grids, Air Traffic Control – it’s all data waiting to be breached

April 22, 2009 — Leave a comment

IT almost always has it covered, yet the Pentagon’s systems have been successfully penetrated mulitple times over the past three years.  Don’t take, “We’ve got it covered”, as the final answer when talking to companies about security.

This time it’s the F35, a plane in testing and preparing for battle.  My favorite quote from this article is, “Northrop referred questions to Lockheed”.  A common problem…remember the data is not really in the data center, so where is it?  It’s on contractors unsecured networks, laptops, and home networks.  Northrop Grumman is working under Lockheed on this one, so they refer questions back to the prime contractor…pointing fingers will not solve this problem.

The important facts from this article are these:

  • 18,050 government-focused cyber attacks were reported over the year 2008. I read this as people who got in. (remember the pentagon is hit millions of times every day).
  • Computer spies have broken into the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project
  • The Air Force’s air-traffic-control system has also been breached in recent months – the article alludes to the idea that fighter pilots could be compromised, not being able to trust their radar systems. That can’t be good.
  • This is one of multiple breaches against this particular project – the F35 Joint Strike Fighter.
  • China is named as the likely intruder – but that can’t be because China doesn’t allow this sort of activity.

Remember, when someone says they have security covered, especially those working in small and medium sized companies, companies that don’t staff high-end security personnel, they just don’t understand security.  It’s an opportunity to find the asset owner and show them the truth.

The details follow from the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124027491029837401.html#mod=whats_news_free?mod=igoogle_wsj_gadgv1

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