Cyber Insecurity
UK ISP Customers Bank Accounts Emptied

A massive cyberattack on a major British Internet Service Provider has prompted millions of customers to threaten to cancel their accounts, The Times reports:

TalkTalk customers have had their bank accounts emptied after a huge cyberattack on the telecoms company, it was revealed last night.

Senior staff ignored a warning more than a year ago that online security was lacking, The Times has learnt.

Police are investigating a ransom demand from someone claiming to be behind the “sustained and sophisticated” attack in which the personal details of millions of customers are feared to have been stolen. Islamist groups are among the suspects

Americans should be paying close attention. As WRM wrote in testimony delivered to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week,

Cyber conflict is a new arena of action, one in which non-state, quasi-state and state actors are all present. With almost every day bringing stories of utterly lamentable failures of American cyber security, it must be clearly said that the U.S. government has allowed itself to be made into a global laughingstock even as some of our most vital national security (and corporate and personal) information is captured by adversaries with, apparently, impunity.

One of a government’s chief responsibilities is to defend its citizens from attack, not just in physical arenas but in virtual ones. The internet creates opportunities for all sorts of asymmetrical warfare. America’s material military advantage isn’t enough to protect the free flow of information (although it could, one hopes, stop rumored Russian designs to cut vital undersea cables). China has grand plans to consolidate its cyber warfare units. What is Washington’s strategy? What is London’s?

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