Two hours (or less) is what hackers needed to break into UK university networks Penetration testers testing university networks were able to use phishing emails to gain administrator access and access personal data, financial information and confidential research. A giant cyber-defence exercise has pitted teams from NATO nations against mysterious hackers trying to cause chaos during the elections of a small, fictional, country. The aim of the annual Locked Shields exercise is to give teams the chance to practice protection of national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the intense pressure of a severe cyberattack. The event is organised by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), which describes the event as the largest and most advanced international live-fire cyber exercise in the world. SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic) According to the Locked Shields scenario, the fictional island country of Berylia finds itself under a cyberattack just as the country is conducting national elections. The coordinated attacks aim to disrupt water purification systems, the electric power grid, 4G public-safety networks, and other critical infrastructure components. The cyberattacks also attempt to undermine the trust in the election result – leading to public unrest. While the scenario used is fictional, securing critical infrastructure and election processes from interference has become a high priority in recent years, following Russian interference with the 2016 US Presidential election, and the growing capabilities of hackers from a number of nations to disrupt critical national… [Read full story]
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