[ISN] Batten down the cyber-hatches

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 04:38:43 -0500 (CDT)

Apr 30th 2009

Securing vulnerable networks across Europe

OVER the past ten years the European Union has failed to protect the 
continent’s energy security. Will it do any better when it comes to 

At an EU conference on that subject in Tallinn on April 27th, 
participants wrestled with the need to act and the difficulty of 
deciding what exactly to do. The location was a suitable one: Estonia is 
the only EU member state to have suffered a full-scale cyber-attack, in 
April 2007. Amid a furious row with Russia about the relocation of a 
Soviet-era war memorial, a flood of bogus internet traffic disabled the 
country’s main websites, briefly shutting down vital public services and 
crippling businesses such as online banking.

Yet two years later, the EU and its member states are still wrestling 
with the issue. Knowing whether such attacks come from pranksters, 
hooligans, terrorists, criminals or an unfriendly government is 
difficult—sometimes impossible. But the potential damage is clear: 
everything from water and electric power to financial industries and 
retail distribution depends on the internet. The right combination of 
malicious code, stolen or hacked passwords and a badly designed system 
could mean catastrophe.

One temptation is to put lots of faith in expensive and gimmicky 
technical fixes. But as Scott Borg, an American expert attending the 
conference, pointed out, the starting point should be economics: without 
knowing the cost of, say, a 24-hour power shutdown as opposed to a 
six-hour one, it is hard to know what priority to give the means 
necessary to prevent it.


LayerOne 2009, Information Security for the discerning professional. 
May 23-24 2009 @ The Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, California 
Visit http://layerone.info for more information
Received on Fri May 01 2009 - 02:38:43 PDT

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