Menu
US military unaware of Chinese attacks against transport contractors

US military unaware of Chinese attacks against transport contractors

The Defense Department has been ordered to close gaps in how cyber incidents are reported

The U.S. Defense Department plans to tighten reporting of cyber incidents against transportation contractors after the military found it was mostly left in the dark about successful attacks from China, according to a Senate report.

The Senate Armed Service Committee released on Wednesday an unclassified version of a report commissioned last year to investigate cyberattacks against contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM).

TRANSCOM relies on an extensive network of civilian airline and shipping contractors to move supplies and people during a crisis.

It alleges the Chinese military successfully stole emails, documents, login credentials and more from contractors, but few of those incidents were ever reported to TRANSCOM.

During a one-year period starting in June 2012, TRANSCOM contractors endured more than 50 intrusions, 20 of which were successful in planting malware. TRANSCOM learned of only two of the incidents. The FBI, however, was aware of 10 of the attacks.

In 2010, TRANSCOM began requiring its contractors to report cyber incidents. The measure applied to 80 companies, but through August 2013 the agency received only those two reports.

In some cases, the FBI and Defense Department had identified companies that were victims of cyberattacks but were unaware the companies were TRANSCOM contractors, the report said.

"Peacetime cyber compromises of operationally critical contractors could prove valuable to foreign countries, such as China, as a source of intelligence about network operations," it said.

In one instance in 2013, the report said China's military conducted a spear-phishing campaign against commercial logistics companies. Spear-phishing involves targeting key employees of an organization via email and trying to trick them into installing malware.

One of the companies ended up with malware on their network after an attack, the report said.

As a result of the report, the Senate Armed Services Committee inserted a provision in the fiscal year 2015 defense budget requiring tighter reporting for contractors.

The Defense Department has also been ordered to establish new procedures to help contractors detect and stop cyberattacks.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intrusionU.S. Senate Armed Services Committeesecurity

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments