Wednesday, October 26, 2011

National Security Agency helps banks battle hackers

"The National Security Agency, a secretive arm of the U.S. military, has begun providing Wall Street banks with intelligence on foreign hackers, a sign of growing U.S. fears of financial sabotage.
The assistance from the agency that conducts electronic spying overseas is part of an effort by American banks and other financial firms to get help from the U.S. military and private defense contractors to fend off cyber attacks, according to interviews with U.S. officials, security experts and defense industry executives.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also warned banks of particular threats amid concerns that hackers could potentially exploit security vulnerabilities to wreak havoc across global markets and cause economic mayhem.
While government and private sector security sources are reluctant to discuss specific lines of investigations, they paint worst-case scenarios of hackers ensconcing themselves inside a bank's network to disable trading systems for stocks, bonds and currencies, trigger flash crashes, initiate large transfers of funds or turn off all ATM machines.
It is unclear if hackers have ever been close to producing anything as dire, but the FBI says it has already helped banks avert several major cyber attacks by helping identify network vulnerabilities.
NSA Director Keith Alexander, who runs the U.S. military's cyber operations, told Reuters the agency is currently talking to financial firms about sharing electronic information on malicious software, possibly by expanding a pilot program through which it offers similar data to the defense industry. He did not provide further details on his agency's collaboration with banks.
Alexander said industry and government were making progress in protecting computer networks, but "tremendous vulnerabilities" remained. The four-star Army general noted companies that have suffered damage from hackers, such as Google Inc, Lockheed Martin Corp and Nasdaq OMX Group, had among the best security systems in the world. (...)"


Dalf said...

Wow, hackers in the US seem like serious business...

October 26, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Damon said...

that look like bbusiness
nice post

October 27, 2011 at 3:38 AM

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