Timeline: Cyber events in 2012
March: A data breach at EPA affects 5,100 employees and 2,700 other people whose addresses, Social Security numbers and bank-routing information were in the agency’s database. DHS issues alerts warning of a cyber intrusion campaign against U.S. gas pipelines.
May: Anonymous obtains 1.7G of sensitive data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and posts it on The Pirate Bay file-sharing site.
June: Hackers steal user names, passwords, e-mail IDs, and security questions and answers for all users of the Navy's Smart Web Move site and DHS’ Transportation Worker Identification Credential website. U.S. aerospace industry experts attending the 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference are targeted by a phishing campaign.
July: NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander says there was a 17-fold increase in cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure from 2009 to 2011.
September: Anonymous claims to have hacked an FBI database containing 1 million Apple user IDs. FBI officials deny the breach, and a private firm eventually admits to being the source of the stolen data.
October: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta outlines a new cybersecurity policy in a speech to Business Executives for National Security. An unencrypted NASA laptop is stolen from an employee’s vehicle, exposing personally identifiable information on 10,000 employees.
November: The Senate’s final attempt to bring a cybersecurity bill to a vote fails on the first day of Congress’ lame-duck session, effectively killing the legislation for 2012.
December: The latest version of a draft executive order on cybersecurity is circulated to relevant agencies for comment.
Sources: Center for Strategic and International Studies, DarkReading.com, FCW reporting
Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.