recommended reading

How to Tell If Hackers Are Attacking Your Utility System Through Heartbleed


The branch of the Homeland Security Department defending critical private networks on Thursday issued a bulletin listing 14 hallmarks that indicate a hacker has tried to take advantage of the Heartbleed bug in company systems. 

The hope is that key U.S. sectors -- utilities, for instance -- will load the signatures into a popular intrusion detection system called "Snort" and be able to flag an attempted breach. This approach is different from the various software tests that merely check whether a system contains the Heartbleed hole. 

The DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team industry notification, which was compiled by the FBI, states that the indicators "have been developed and tested to detect attempted exploitation of the vulnerability by known open source exploitation techniques."

The bureau recommends that "these signatures be immediately implemented" throughout a network. 

Some tests for the presence of the defect -- created by botched code in OpenSSL, a common encryption tool -- reportedly  falsely declare a system safe, when users are actually in danger.

(Image via SoulCurry/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.