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Presented by SSA Robert Flaim FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Cyber Division FBIHQ Cyber Attacks: The Next Frontier.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by SSA Robert Flaim FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Cyber Division FBIHQ Cyber Attacks: The Next Frontier."— Presentation transcript:


2 Presented by SSA Robert Flaim FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Cyber Division FBIHQ Cyber Attacks: The Next Frontier

3 “The nation is vulnerable to new forms of terrorism ranging from cyber attacks to attacks on military bases abroad to ballistic missile attacks on U.S. cities. “Wars in the 21 st century will increasingly require all elements of national power – not just the military. They will require that economic, diplomatic, financial, law enforcement and intelligence capabilities work together.” Secretary Rumsfeld address to the National Defense University, January 31, 2002.

4 Discussion Critical Infrastructures Terrorist Internet Exploits Tactics and Strategy

5 Critical Infrastructures Where the Crown Jewels Are


7 Imagine Planning for These Contingencies Unrelated Events or Strategic Attack? Power Outages World Trade Center Oklahoma City ATM Failures Airliner Crash Bridges Down ISPs All Offline Oil Refinery Fire 911 System Down Poisoned Water Supply Telephone Outages

8 Using Our Systems Against Us Aircraft – Pentagon/Twin Towers Mail distribution network – Anthrax Computers – next step ?

9 Real World Example – Australia 2000 Maroochy Shire Waste Water Plant – Sunshine Coast – Insider – 46 intrusions over 2 month period – Release of sewage into parks, rivers – Environmental damage

10 Real World Example – USA 2001 San Francisco FBI Field Office Investigation – Internet probes from Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan – Casings of web sites regarding emergency telephone systems, electrical generation and transmissions, water storage and distribution, nuclear power plants and gas facilities – Exploring digital systems used to manage these systems

11 Why Cyber Attack on Critical Infrastructures? National Security – Reduce the U.S.’s ability to protect its interests Public Psyche – Erode confidence in critical services and the government Economic impact – Damage economic systems Enhancement of Physical Attacks – Physical damage/distraction efforts Asymmetric Warfare – Lack of attribution, low cost/high potential impact

12 How are we vulnerable? Globalization of infrastructures = vulnerability Globalization of infrastructures = vulnerability Anonymous access to infrastructures via the Internet and SCADA Anonymous access to infrastructures via the Internet and SCADA Interdependencies of systems make attack consequences harder to predict and more severe Interdependencies of systems make attack consequences harder to predict and more severe Malicious software is widely available and does not require a high degree of technical skill to use Malicious software is widely available and does not require a high degree of technical skill to use More individuals with malicious intent on Internet More individuals with malicious intent on Internet New cyber threats outpace defensive measures New cyber threats outpace defensive measures

13 Vulnerability Types Computer based Computer based – Poor passwords – Lack of appropriate protection/or improperly configured protection Network based Network based – Unprotected or unnecessary open entry points Personnel based Personnel based – Temporary/staff firings – Disgruntled personnel – Lack of training Facility based Facility based – Servers in unprotected areas – Inadequate security policies

14 Al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda laptop found in Afghanistan contained: Hits on web sites that contained “Sabotage Handbook” Handbook – Internet tools, planning a hit, anti- surveillance methods, “cracking” tools Al-Qaeda actively researched publicly available information concerning critical infrastructures posted on web sites

15 Terrorist Internet Exploits What are we up against?

16 Terrorist Groups

17 Terrorists Attention must be paid to studying the terrorists: – Ideology – History – Motivation – Capabilities

18 Terrorists Terrorism is carried out by disrupting activities, undermining confidence, and creating fear In the future, cyber terrorism may become a viable option to traditional physical acts of violence due to: – Perceived anonymity – Diverse targets – Low risk of detection – Low risk of personnel injury – Low investment – Operate from nearly any location – Few resources are needed

19 Terrorist Use of the Internet Hacktivism Cyber Facilitated Terrorism Cyber terrorism

20 Cyber Arsenal for Terrorists Internet newsgroups, web home pages, and IRC channels include: – Automated attack tools (Software Tools) Sniffers (capture information i.e. password/log-on) Rootkits (facilitate/mask intrusion) Network Vulnerability Analyzers (SATAN/Nessus) Spoofing Trojan Horses Worms DoS

21 Cyber Attack Methodology Resource Denial – Virus/malicious code – “Legitimate” traffic overwhelms site (unauthorized high-volume links) – DoS – DDoS WWW Defacement – Defacement to embarrass – Content modification to convey message – Content modification as component of disinformation campaign

22 Computer System Compromises System Compromise – Data destruction – Data modification – Information gathering – Compromised platform : Launch pad for attacks Jump off point for other compromises Target Research and Acquisition – Internet makes significant amounts of data instantly and anonymously accessible.

23 Hacktivism Hacktivism is hacking with a cause and is concerned with influencing opinions on a specific issue. Example: ELF hacks into the web page of a local ski resort and defaces the web page. This is done to reflect the groups objections to environmental issues.

24 Electronic Disturbance Theater Smithsonian Mental Institution Smithsonian Mental Institution Hacktivism


26 Cyber Facilitated Terrorism Terrorists utilize web sites to actively recruit members and publicize propaganda as well as to raise funds Web sites also contain information necessary to construct weapons, obtain false identification Use Internet as a communications tool via chat rooms, BBS, email Hijackers utilized cyber cafés to communicate via Internet and order airline tickets

27 1. Finsbury Park Mosque, North London 2. Djamel Beghal 8. Abu Hamza 3. Kamel Daoudi 4. Zacarias Moussaoui 5. Richard Reid 6. Feroz Abbasi 7. Nizar Tribelsi 9. Abu Qatada

28 Kamel Daoudi – Believed to be Al-Qaeda Cyber Terrorist. Arrested for alleged involvement in plot to bomb American Embassy in Paris

29 Cyberterrorism Cyberterrorism is a criminal act perpetrated by the use of computers and telecommunications capabilities, resulting in violence, destruction and/or disruption of services to create fear by causing confusion and uncertainty within a given population, with the goal of influencing a government or population to conform to a particular political, social, or ideological agenda.

30 The Cyberterrorist Threat Operational Practicality Behavioral Profile Assessing the threat Technical Feasibility THREAT

31 Cost of Capability Availability of Capability 19551960197019751985 Invasion Precision Guided Munitions Computer Strategic Nuclear Weapons Cruise Missile Cost & Means of Attack 1945Today Missiles ICBM & SLBM

32 Tactics and Strategy Prevention and cooperation

33 FBI Cyber Transformation FBI Cyber Transformation Terrorism and Cyber Crime – top priorities FBI recruitment of engineers and computer scientists – critical skills Increasing agents dedicated to cyber crime Creation of Cyber Task Forces in field offices

34 USA Patriot Act Felony to hack into computer used in furtherance of national security or national defense 2702 Emergency Requests Legal Subpoena expanded Sentencing increased


36 USA Patriot Act cont’d USA Patriot Act cont’d Share with DOJ for criminal prosecution Permits “roving” surveillance FISA orders for intelligence allowed if there is a significant reason for application rather than the reason Authorizes pen register and trap and trace orders for email as well as telephone conversations

37 International Investigations Cyber Evidence in USA MLAT Request Joint FBI-Foreign Police Investigation Legal Subpoena

38 Cyber Terrorism Prevention – Old Methods for New Problem Liaison Critical Infrastructure Companies, i.e. FBI InfraGard Internet Service Providers Universities Internet Cafes Hacker clubs IT companies, developers International, local law enforcement Look – on the Internet Coordinate - national security, terrorist personnel

39 Conclusion Our national security, databases, and economy are extremely dependent upon automation Therefore, there exists a “target rich environment” for those who would do harm via the Internet Our critical infrastructures require joint private/public efforts to protect them

40 Robert Flaim 1-571-223-3338

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