HSI: Honolulu an enticing target for cyber attacks

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Homeland Security Investigations called Honolulu an enticing target for our enemies after they intercepted a cyber attack on critical infrastructure.

HSI isn’t naming the international hacking group it said was behind the attack.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

HSI did confirm an arrest has been made by Homeland Security Investigations agents, and international law enforcement agencies.

This comes as the war in Ukraine has heightened cyber security in the islands.

Homeland Security Investigations agents on the mainland gave the Honolulu agents a tip last week.

Officials said investigators identified an international hacking group responsible for the attack.

The potential attack came last week, but HSI said it disrupted the significant breach involving a private company’s servers associated with an under-sea cable.

“We tracked it from Asia we tracked it to Oceania, and then working with partners in that region we were able to actually get access to some electronic devices,” HSI special agent in charge John Tobon said.

Those devices helped HSI crack the case through computer forensics, thwarting a potential large outage of internet, cable service, and cell phones on Oahu.

“Everyone’s heard the term weapons of mass destruction. This is what we call weapons of mass disruption,” retired Marine Corps intelligence officer Hal Kempfer said. “It’s extremely disruptive. If you can’t communicate if you can’t use your cell phones, if you can’t send large amounts of data streaming back and forth across the Pacific, all these things slow everything down.”

Kempfer said he thinks these oceanic cables are highly vulnerable to an attack, and if successful could have a large impact on civilians and the military.

“Even though certainly Department Defense and other parts of federal government have different ways to communicate if they need to, day-by-day certainly for standard administrative communication and stuff like that, they use the…