Cyber Security News

False Alarm on Commerce Dept Cyber Attack Costs Almost $3 Million

The Commerce Department says that the cyber attack on its job-development bureau was so vicious that the agency’s entire computer network had been at risk, The Washington Post reports.

Federal officials were so concerned that the virus could spread to economically sensitive information that 200 employees spent months without email or access to Internet servers and databases. BlackBerrys were left along, and there was no Internet communication with regional offices. Officials spent nearly $3 million to destroy computers, hire consultants and security temporary networks before building a new operating network from the ground up.

Now we learn that the attack was not an attack.

The disruption was a common malware infection on six computers, investigations report, and it could have been erased with anti-virus tools and other security steps.

Inspector General Todd J. Zinser describes a series of errors and miscommunications that lead the Economic Development Administration to take such drastic steps immediately after a Department of Homeland Security team flagged a possible virus in December 2011, the Post reports.

The June 26 report notes that inexperienced, underqualified IT employees overreacted to incorrect information. They spoke past one another and did not validate how many computers were targeted. They did not heed early conclusions that this was not a large-scale attack by a foreign entity.

EDA officials destroyed $175,000-worth of laptops, desktops, servers and printers, stopping only when they ran out of money (Commerce officials denied requests for millions of dollars to demolish more equipment).

In total, the expenses came to half the department’s technology budget. 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.

Podcasts

Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security June 2015 issue cover

2015 June

In this June 2015 issue of SecurityIs the security director business’s new “corporate rock star?” Find out how CSOs can become the new leaders of their enterprises through mentorships, partnerships and creatively adding business value. Also, learn how security professionals are training employees in cyber security through games. And why are deterrence and detection so important when it comes to thwarting metal thieves? Find out in this issue.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Body Cameras on Security Officers

Body cameras are being used increasingly by police in cities across the U.S. Will you arm your security officers with a body camera?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SECURITY STORE

Effective Security Management, 5th Edition.jpg
Effective Security Management, 5th Edition

 Effective Security Management, 5e, teaches practicing security professionals how to build their careers by mastering the fundamentals of good management. Charles Sennewald brings a time-tested blend of common sense, wisdom, and humor to this bestselling introduction to workplace dynamics. 

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.