Cyber Security

Vadim Ghirda / AP

 

Idaho State Treasurer Ron Crane and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were just a couple of the many government websites hacked Sunday by a message containing the phrase “I love the Islamic State.” These hackings are being called defacements, or “internet graffiti," and no data was compromised.

 

 

A spokesperson for Crane says a permanent solution to the hacking is being pursued and should be in place by the end of the week.

 

 

Twitter: @SenatorRisch

Senator Jim Risch proposed a novel idea for protecting the nation's power grid from cyber threats. The senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee thinks we should rely less on electronics and more on humans to manage the nation's electricity.

The Republican senator cited a 2015 cyber attack on Ukraine's power grid as evidence for his proposal. Power was cut to some 215,000 Ukranians in the incident, but the outage would've been even more widespread had humans not still been in physical control of some elements of the grid.

Lawerence Denney
Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Secretary of State believes a federal agency may have tried to hack the state's election website around the date of the presidential election without notifying Idaho officials in advance.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's IP address showed up as trying to access the state elections site around Nov. 8, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said Monday. Similar accusations were made by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in December, reported The Post Register reports.

Idaho National Laboratory

Idaho Governor Butch Otter addressed lawmakers on Monday with his State of the State. He covered traditional topics, such as education, healthcare and public lands, but also spent time talking about cutting-edge technology. 

Coming out of the presidential election, cybersecurity been an issue that’s of great national concern. In his annual state address, Governor Butch Otter called it one of Idaho’s most complex challenges.

He specifically addressed a security breach last August of a licensing website used by Idaho Fish and Game.

Idaho Fish & Game Headquarters Office Sign
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

Online sales of hunting and fishing licenses resumed Tuesday following a three-month shutdown due to a computer breach at the vendor that handles those sales, Idaho officials announced.

Idaho Fish and Game officials said additional security features include requiring online buyers to create an account with a password.

Dallas-based Active Network reported a computer breach in late August with the possibility that millions of records in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, including Social Security numbers, might have been compromised.

Charles Peterson / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Fish and Game officials are in Lewiston today discussing the biggest wildlife issues in the state.

The seven-person fish and game commission has a lot on their agenda, including the review of public input on a proposal for the state to take over management of Yellowstone grizzlies.

Idaho Fish & Game Headquarters Office Sign Director
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game says people can still buy hunting tags and fishing licenses at participating stores and Fish and Game offices, but not online. That’s after the software company that manages online and in-person sales told Fish and Game it had been hacked.

CyberHades / Flickr Creative Commons

The state of Idaho’s new Cybersecurity Task Force holds its first meeting Wednesday afternoon. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter created the group through executive order in July. Lieutenant Governor Brad Little will chair the task force.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has created a task force intended to strengthen the state's protections against computer hackers.

Otter on Monday announced that he signed an executive order creating the Idaho Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force.

Otter in a statement says the task force will develop policies, programs and strategies to find vulnerabilities and prevent attacks.

He says the state's long-term economic competitiveness is linked to cybersecurity.

daniel / Flickr

This week, we’re going behind the scenes of Idaho’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). Since 2008, the unit has made 237 arrests in Idaho. The yearly numbers have remained fairly steady for several years, hovering between 30 and 40.

Across the country, ICAC units have seen a consistent increase in the number of people arrested for crimes against children since 2000.

Yannick Meyer / Flickr

Do you know what your kids are doing online? That’s the question Tim Brady asks when he talks about his work protecting children from internet predators. After nine years shielding kids, this Boise Police detective has some advice for parents when it comes to the Internet and safety.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

This story includes graphic descriptions and language that may not be suitable for young audiences; some may find this content offensive.

Police Detective Tim Brady sits at his desk, surrounded by computer screens. He flips on a monitor and an instant-chat session is on the screen, this one recorded a few years ago. It is one of thousands of hours the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children unit, (ICAC) has spent online.

“Within less than a minute I’m bombarded with all these people that think they’re speaking with a 13-year-old girl,” Brady says.

Tom Banse

The region’s main electricity wholesaler, the Bonneville Power Administration, has major shortcomings with regards to its cyber security and computer systems. That’s according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Energy’s investigative arm. The BPA is taking issue with the seriousness of the findings.

The federal auditor is concerned BPA is not well-enough equipped to handle a cyber attack. And the years-long review also dinged BPA for security gaps. That could jeopardize the regional electricity grid and in the worst case black out customers.