2019, Blog, english

How intelligence services threaten our security

The Baltimore City Council in the USA has been the victim of a hacker attack. The used Ransomware has disabled the most important systems of the city.

The Baltimore City Council in the USA has been the victim of a hacker attack. The used Ransomware has disabled the most important systems of the city.

The communication channels have collapsed. Some of the employees have switched to Googlemail.
Likewise, city contractors can only be paid late. The payment processing of pending tax receipts cannot be processed properly either. Those responsible in the city cannot yet say when the problems will be solved. However, the ransom for the unlocking of the systems in the amount of 100,000 dollars should not be paid.

In the meantime, the city government has applied for a federal emergency and disaster declaration. The reason: The American federal government is involved and has a great co-responsibility.

In 2017, the hacker group Shadow Brokers published NSA attack tools. Some of the attack tools exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems. Meanwhile, these tools have reportedly found their way into the digital weapons arsenal of hackers in Russia, China and North Korea (who, if not them).

The used malware is known under the name EternalBlue. Because of EternalBlue, the attack possibly only have been so devastatingly successful.

Of course, we should not forget that even a city like Baltimore must have set up security structures. In principle, critical areas should not be connected to the Internet and should be operated isolated internally. Some institutions still have a lot to do in this field.

This case shows that secret services should not be able to make vulnerabilities attackable with their own software. They must be obliged to disclose vulnerabilities and dangers immediately.

Whoever uses software tools and the knowledge of security risks to use offensive espionage, risks gaps and vulnerabilities in their own country. Only one city administration is affected here. But what would happen if security-relevant systems from nuclear power plants, life-saving systems in hospitals or, for example, systems for monitoring civil air traffic were to be affected instead?

In principle, critical infrastructure has no place on the Internet. However, even in a perfect security structure, secret vulnerabilities are a security problem. Anyone who grants secret services such opportunities must accept the criticism that he himself is a security risk and that he himself creates security risks.

 

This message goes only to me! Encrypted with PGP. | Diese Nachricht geht nur zu mir. Verschlüsselt mit PGP.
Tagged , , , , ,