News in Brief

Malware warning, Microsoft security and the Army's G-6 handoff

cyberattack graphic

CERT warns of new malware targeting infrastructure

Malware similar to that used in a cyber intrusion campaign that infiltrated computer facilities at a U.S. academic institution, Western European governments and energy and telecommunications companies is behind a three-year long campaign to probe U.S. critical infrastructure companies, according to the Industrial Control System Cyber Emergency Response Team.

ICS-CERT issued an Oct. 29 notice saying the organization had identified a sophisticated malware campaign responsible for compromising "numerous" industrial control systems at U.S. electrical and water companies that exploits weaknesses in Microsoft Windows and other software in their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

The warning comes a few days after White House officials acknowledged that its unclassified computer networks were compromised in recent weeks -- most likely by the Russian government, according to news reports.

The malware cited by ICS-CERT, dubbed BlackEnergy, shares the same command and control infrastructure as malware called Sandworm that was used earlier in October to infiltrate computer facilities belonging to Ukrainian and other European government organizations, energy companies in Poland, a European telecommunications company and a U.S. academic institution, suggesting both are part of a broader campaign by the same threat actor.

Computer security research firm iSIGHT linked Sandworm to a cyber espionage group based in Russia. In its earlier October warning, CERT didn't name any of the companies or institutions that were compromised by Sandworm, however.

Microsoft expanding security and mobile controls for Office 365

IT managers at government agencies will soon have more options for data loss protection and mobile device controls now that Microsoft announced the expansion of DLP across Office 365 and beyond, GCN reports.

Over the past few months, the company introduced new capabilities in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, allowing users to search for sensitive content through eDiscovery.

Wang replaces Krieger as deputy CIO/G-6

Gary C. Wang will take over as the Army’s new Deputy CIO/G-6 on Nov. 1, a day after current deputy Mike Krieger retires from the civil service, Defense System reports.

Wang is director of intelligence systems and architectures in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Krieger, who had served as deputy to several different Army CIOs since 2008, won a 2014 Federal 100 award for his leadership on the Joint Information Environment and other Army transformation initiatives.

Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell is the Army's current CIO/G-6.

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