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Government Security

Sweden Secretly Blames Russian Hackers For Taking Out Air Traffic Control: Report (theregister.co.uk) 50

John Leyden, reporting for The Register: Sweden suspects a hacker group linked to Russian intelligence was responsible for an attack on its air traffic control systems last November, we're told. Air traffic control systems across much of Sweden were unavailable on November 4. Computer problems meant air traffic controllers were unable to use their displays, an issue that prompted the cancellation of multiple domestic and international flights. Arlanda, Landvetter and Bromma airports were particularly affected. The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration publicly blamed a solar storm. However, behind the scenes the Swedes were notifying NATO about a serious, ongoing cyber attack, Norwegian news outlet aldrimer.no reports.
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Sweden Secretly Blames Russian Hackers For Taking Out Air Traffic Control: Report

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  • >> The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration publicly blamed a solar storm. However, behind the scenes the Swedes were notifying NATO about a serious, ongoing cyber attack

    I'm not a politician, so help me out here. What would be lost by telling the truth in this situation? Are people in charge afraid of "OMG* teh cyberhackers are gonna BORK crashen der planen BORK BORK" or what?

    * = "OK, probably not G as in God - this is Sweden."
    • We still use old phrases such as the Swedish equivalent of omg. Although i make a point of using it in plural since i kinda wish the aesir faith was still a thing outside of some fringes...
  • Air Gaps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @02:30PM (#51901749)

    it still amazes me that SCADA implementations have back doors and direct Internet connectivity. Air Gaps people! No Internet/Intranet access to SCADA systems and access restrictions such as no USB thumb drives in machines and only personnel, verified and doubled up touch the network. It's pragmatic and off the shelf. Use it and then you won't potentially crash planes.

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      I'm guessing control systems on different airports need to communicate with each other directly.

      • So rent a dedicated line between them, there is no reason to plonk everything onto the internet other than bean counters cutting costs. I can't even begin to count the number of collossal fuckups caused because bean counters made decisions instead of people more qualified on the technical merits of doing xyz because they want to make 0.0001% more of a profit. But hey, I suppose their bonuses are at stake, so fuck everything else.
  • maybe staying on windows 3.1 would of been better or not.

    https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

  • It's amazing that a country so far north nearing the winter equinox would would be hit by a solar storm but not the rest of the world...particularly any in the southern hemisphere...so yes I will buy this Russian hacker theory.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Magnetic storms do produce surprisingly localized phenomena due to coupling with the surface. The 2003 storm caused power problems in a few hundred km wide areas in the Nordic. Also the charged particles do hit the Earth first from the direction of polar areas due to the magnetic field structure.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      It took me a moment to figure out what you were writing about, then I realized you think that the body of the Earth somehow shields northern countries from the effects of geomagnetic storms. Solar storms don't work that way.

      A geomagnetic storm occurs when a mass of charged particles from the Sun interact with the Earth's magnetosphere, which is many times the Earth's diameter. Those particles follow the magnetic lines of force down to the polar areas, (even to the pole that is experiencing winter) where th

  • Since when is Sweden a member of NATO?
    • They are not, but whom else could they turn to? The Swedes can't fight Russia themselves. It's too big.
      • I bet if they asked the Finns nicely. The Finns have a knack [wikipedia.org] for shooting [wikipedia.org] Russian troops.
      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

        They are not, but whom else could they turn to?

        Well that's one of the problems with neutrality, isn't it? Of course it's becoming more and more clear what Sweden means by "neutral". We want NATO protection, but don't want to pay to support it or commit anything to it... I never realized that nations could go on welfare too.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Insider manipulation to force it to join NATO. NATO or more accurately the North American Territorial Occupation farce demand that when you join (like joining a mafia protection racket) them you privatise all government arms manufacturers and sell them to US/UK corporations and then demand 2% of GDP be spent on those arms. 2% of GDP doesn't sound much but that isn't 2% of federal tax revenues, nope, that is 2% of total revenue, when you do the numbers that 2% rapidly becomes more like 25% of federal tax re

  • The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration publicly blamed a solar storm. However, behind the scenes the Swedes were notifying NATO about a serious, ongoing cyber attack, Norwegian news outlet aldrimer.no reports.

    Wait, you mean the government lied to its people?

    I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked. We must report this to the authorities at once. I'm sure a proper government-run investigation will get to the bottom of this quickly and the responsible people will be punished. You can count on it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The reason why they don't immediately say it's the Russians is because they don't want the public to demand retaliatory measures, which would just escalate the situation dangerously.

  • All the ATC systems I worked on up to 2012 were airgapped, apart from a few very low bandwidth links which would be used to pull in meteo type data. No opportunity for a DOS there.

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