As the investigation into Marriott’s massive breach continues one front runner in the blame game is rapidly emerging – China.
Now information is coming to light that over a period of 18 months China has stolen everything from maintenance records to missile plans by infiltrating Navy contractors according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
The Easy Approach to R&D
The US Navy develops and employs some of the most advanced technologies in the world. China has an unabashed culture of intellectual property theft as a short cut to research and development. Combine the two and you have a high priority state sponsored hacking target and some rough seas for the US Navy and its supply chain.
Difficult to Secure
The US Navy employs tens of thousands of civilian contractors and subcontractors. These companies, both large and small have network vulnerabilities and social engineering vulnerabilities just like every other organization in the world. Universities with research labs present another point of vulnerability as the Navy utilizes these hi-tech facilities to stay at the cutting edge. This makes it exceedingly difficult to secure files that must be shared, whether they are top-secret plans or mundane maintenance schedules.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Navy officials declined to say how many attacks had taken place during the 18-month period except to say that there were “more than a handful,” calling the breaches troubling and unacceptable.”
Private sector researchers have linked the contractor breaches to a suspected Chinese government hacking team known as Temp.Periscope or Leviathan. This team often uses email phishing schemes to gain access to targeted computer networks.- Just one more example of how well social engineering works, even against organizations working at the highest levels of security.
Maintaining a Competitive Advantage
It is imperative that our military maintain a competitive advantage in its ability to wage war and defend against threats. Losing next generation technologies to China and other potential enemies makes this task even more difficult. But there could be more at stake than just the siphoning of secrets. If unfriendly nation states can infiltrate the networks of our military (and critical infrastructure!) can the battlefield be switched to a more virtual one that does not rely on traditional military actions for success?
Keep Safe, Keep Secure
If social engineering, phishing, endpoint control and watering holes have you wondering how you’ll stay safe and secure it’s time to pick up the phone and call Konsultek. Our custom security solutions can keep your information safe in an increasingly perilous cyber world.