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Vulnerabilities in the Energy and Financial Sector - Research Paper Example

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This research study, Vulnerabilities in the Energy and Financial Sector, highlights that The U.S. is under thousands of cyber attacks daily from Russia, China, and non-affiliated hackers. The cyber attack could be the next “Pearl Harbor” that country experiences. …
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Vulnerabilities in the Energy and Financial Sector
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Download file to see previous pages The verticals most at risk are Energy & Oil sectors with a 356% greater rate of direct encounters with data theft Trojans and the Banking & Finance sector with a 204% greater rate. The intention of the criminals is not just to steal credit card data or identity theft. They want to cast a much wider net which has resulted in an average enterprise experiencing 19 encounters per day by the end of 2009 against 8 malware encounters per day at the start of the year.
Sophisticated malware threats like Stuxnet have raised concerns whether the power grid can withstand targeted cyber attacks. Stuxnet can steal industrial data from supervisory control. Hackers can actually create codes through Stuxnet and then take over the critical systems. This software program can exploit vulnerabilities in the SCADA system, the system which controls the critical equipment at power companies. Trojan, another malware, can also sabotage the SCADA system just as Stuxnet does. The SmartGrid is vulnerable to multiple common attack techniques and leaving it unsecured can lead to heavy damages. It has the ability to create a worm that enables the attacker full control of the exposed devices. Meters can become non-functional and the customers can be disconnected. It not only damages the reputation of the utility but recovery is time consuming and costly.
While the security holes enable the criminals to redirect power delivery and steal data, these occur because of a failure to install software security or due to poor password management. Siemens AG, the German engineering firm, had detected an attack targeting critical infrastructure, which includes the electric grids, subways, and air-traffic control. The security gaps include "well-known unsecure coding practices" and it permits an excessive number of portals access into the networks. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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