July 2013 Update
IN THIS ISSUE
Don’t Let Identity Theft Extinguish the Fireworks
The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign encourages all Americans to remain vigilant about Internet use. For more information to help you become more aware of growing threats and guard against them, visitwww.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.
DHS Component Spotlight: ICS-CERT Provides Hands-On Cyber Incident Support
Every day people take showers, watch television, drive cars, talk on cell phones, and use computers. None of this would be possible without the utility infrastructure that supplies us the water, electricity, gasoline, and telecommunications we use in our homes and communities. Industrial control systems are what support, monitor and run the essential utilities we rely on every day. Much of the United States’ critical infrastructure, which includes energy, chemical, water, and transportation, depends heavily on industrial control systems to function properly and many of these systems are operated by commercial enterprises. One challenge is that these privately run systems are often the focus of advanced cyber attacks.
Just as cyber criminals attempt to control home computers for malicious purposes, criminals also try to breach the networks that run industrial systems, such as a water, power, or chemical plants. By accessing these industrial control systems, cyber criminals could cause service disruptions, economic losses, destroy property, or compromise public safety.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems-Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) helps owners and operators of critical infrastructure prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents. ICS-CERT monitors cyber threats and incidents and issues timely alerts to warn the critical infrastructure community of potential threats to their business networks and production environments. ICS-CERT provides recommend actions to protect systems from specific threats and issues advisories about security issues and known vulnerabilities.
ICS-CERT also coordinates information sharing among Federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector organizations. ICS-CERT operations support the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), a centralized location open 24×7 for cybersecurity partners to work together. From NCCIC’s watch floor, ICS-CERT has access to the latest information on cyber activity as well as to cybersecurity partners at all levels of government, in the intelligence community, and in the private sector.
ICS-CERT works with owners and operators to assess their systems, find vulnerabilities, and address identified vulnerabilities to prevent cyber attacks. When incidents occur, ICS-CERT offers analytical support to affected organizations. Additionally, ICS-CERT runs a malware lab to test malicious code and the potential effects malware could have on industrial control systems.
Critical infrastructure owners or operators who need on-site help can request ICS-CERT personnel to come to their site to assist with cyber incident response. Specialized personnel form “fly-away teams” that work with onsite staff to address the cyber vulnerability and work on mitigating future attacks. During 2012, the team responded to 138 cyber incidents and supported six onsite deployments upon request of the owners or operators of critical infrastructure.
For more information about ICS-CERT, visit https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/.
2013 National Cyber Security Awareness Month Themes Announced
*NCSAM themes for Week 2 and Week 5 may be reversed, pending event confirmation.
Stop.Think.Connect. at 2013 AFCEA International Cyber Symposium