North Dakota computer infrastructure threats on the rise

Computer keyboard (Midwest Communications Inc 2018)

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFGO) – North Dakota’s state computer infrastructure is facing more threats. State Chief Information Security Officer Sean Wiese says the number of “probes,” which he likens to a burglar rattling a doorknob, increased in July.

“When I look at scan attempts, or those “probes,” in the month of July, we definitely saw an increase” according to Wiese.

Wiese says the growing number of “probes” does not mean that the infrastructure is being compromised. “If an attacker rattles the doors today…if they actually did find a door, that door might be locked the next time they come around. So it really doesn’t indicate that they got in, or did something damaging. They just saw that the door was open.”

Wiese says the number of more serious “hack” attempts, which may involve the use of malicious code, has remained fairly steady.

According to Wiese, the state’s computer infrastructure typically receives about 5 million threat attempts each month.