Entries with tag critical infrastructure.

Huawei Operations in UK Prompt Increased Government Oversight

British national security adviser Kim Darroch is issuing a report saying the nation’s officials should have the last word on any business deals that involve critical national infrastructure. This comes well after the 2005 deal between two telecommunications firms—the UK’s BT Group and China’s Huawei Technologies—without any ministerial oversight. Huawei provides equipment for the nation’s 21st Century infrastructure upgrade (21CN), which allowed it to “become embedded” in the nation’s critical infrastructure without any critical review. Among the concerns are possible state-sponsored espionage or cyberattacks. In addition, the US has expressed similar concern about Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government, going so far as to block it from providing hardware to telecommunications firms.  Darroch has also recommended additional government scrutiny at Huawei’s facility in Banbury, UK. The company opened the center in 2010 to test its new hardware and software for vulnerabilities before they were added to the UK’s critical infrastructure. (Reuters)(Fortune)(The Wall Street Journal)(Financial Times)

UK Government Investigating Huawei

United Kingdom government officials announced plans to investigate security at a cybersecurity center located in southern England operated by China’s Huawei. The investigation is reportedly being conducted to ensure the nation’s telecommunications networks remain secure. There are concerns about the company’s access to the nation’s communications infrastructure and whether it has ties to the Chinese government or military. Allegations have been made that the firm inserts backdoors in its equipment to allow the Chinese government to conduct espionage. United States businesses have already been advised by US House of Representatives members not to buy equipment from the company following testimony by the firm they deemed “unconvincing”. The security center, staffed by UK nationals, was opened in 2010 to test both telecommunications hardware and software for security risks before they were used in Britain’s critical infrastructure. Huawei, the world’s second largest telecommunications firm, issued a statement supporting the investigation, which is also determining whether the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) should have a greater role in managing the center. (ZDNet)(Reuters)

Report: Cybercrime Rising in Caribbean, Latin America

New research shows cybercrime is increasing in the Caribbean and Latin America, with the number of incidents reported in regional countries up by as much as 40 percent. The new report, in which security vendor Trend Micro , compared statistics from 2011 and 2012, for the Organization of American States (OAS), suggests the percentages may actually be low because of a lack of reporting or inadequate detection of problems. Critical infrastructure, industrial control systems, and financial institutions are frequent targets of attacks in the Caribbean and Latin America. Trend Micro contends the traditional organized crime syndicates are responsible for creating sophisticated cybercrime tools used in these attacks. The report also finds hacktivism, attacking sites in the name of promulgating a particular cause, on the rise; Mexico alone saw a 40 percent increase in such attacks, particularly during the presidential election campaign. Trend Micro worked on the study with the OAS’s Secretariat for Multidimensional Security. They invited all 32 OAS member states to participate, but only 20 responded. Despite the overall upward cybercrime trend, Chile and Columbia reportedly saw fewer attacks in 2012. (Dark Reading)(ZDNet)(Trend Micro)

US Senate Blocks Cybersecurity Legislation

The US Senate failed to pass a bill designed to protect the United States from cyberattacks Thursday amid concerns from opponents. They said they were worried that bill could threaten personal privacy and create an additional layer of government bureaucracy. Of the 100 senators, only 52 of the 60 needed for passage voted for the bill. The bill was backed by President Barack Obama and national-defense officials, saying the legislation was needed to protect critical infrastructure. In a statement, the White House said this “comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation” failed as the result of “the politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability.” Observers expect the Senate to revisit the issue after its summer recess. (PhysOrg)(AFP)(Reuters)

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