Cyber Warfare

New Zealand outlines priorities

Three defence and national security documents released by New Zealand Defence Minister Andrew Little outline the general challenges facing his country as well as military principles and ways to improve the forces. [node:read-more:link]

Pentagon AI strategy faulted

The U.S. the Government Accountability Office says that the Defense Department, despite plans to spend billions on developing artificial intelligence tools over the next several years, still lacks an acquisition strategy, potentially risking money on technologies that don’t address future challenges from AI-enabled adversaries. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberattacks a growing concern

The latest cybersecurity survey by Texas-based SolarWinds shows that foreign governments’ activities are the top concern for IT professionals at all levels of government in the U.S. Some 60 per cent of respondents ranked them as one of the greatest threats in 2023 compared with 41 per cent two years earlier. “More and more nation states use the cyber landscape to execute aggressive espionage campaigns, as well as other cyberattacks like ransomware and spyware,” says SolarWinds Vice-President Brandon Shopp. [node:read-more:link]

CSE reports increased cyber threat

There has been a “notable” increase in cyber threat activity by Russia-aligned actors, the Communications Security Establishment reported April 13. “These are attention-grabbing, but do not mean the website has been hacked or that any information has been compromised,” said Sami Khoury, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the CSE. [node:read-more:link]

No Tik-Tok on federal devices

Effective February 28, all federal government mobile device will be banned from using Tik-Tok. Confirmed the decision today, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier said there is an “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security” and the Chinese-owned social media app’s data collection leaves users vulnerable to cyberattacks. [node:read-more:link]

Russian cyberattacks flagging

Leading up to the invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Russian hackers began laying the foundation for an unprecedented cyber onslaught not just against Kyiv but also its NATO allies. That digital campaign went into overdrive alongside the kinetic attack but the Google-owned Mandiant cybersecurity firm reported February 16 that Moscow seems unable to keep up the pace for now. [node:read-more:link]

Russia trying to “destabilize” Moldova

Moldova’s prime minister is accusing Russia of sponsoring protests and conducting cyberattacks in an attempt to destabilize the former Soviet republic abutting southwestern Ukraine. “We are seeing . . . pro-Russian forces trying to destabilise the country politically through paid protests,” Natalia Gavrilița said February 7. “We've had the biggest cyberattacks in 2022 in the history of our country, and we are seeing bomb threats.” [node:read-more:link]

The “zero trust” paradigm

Canada joined its Five Eyes partners for a recent meeting at the headquarters of the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency and Cyber Command to discuss the “zero trust” paradigm which assumes communications networks are already compromised and, as a result, require continuous validation of users and devices. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine invasion an intel “sea change”

The British and U.S. intelligence chiefs, Sir Jeremy Fleming and Avril Haines, have afforded a rate glimpse into their activities by publicly discussing details of how their communities prepared for Russia’s assault on Ukraine. Interviewing his U.S. counterpart on British radio, Sir Jeremy said i Ukraine had seen a new type of conflict in which intelligence was at the forefront. Haines agreed, saying the war had made it clear that countries “cannot manage any threat . . . without partners or allies.” [node:read-more:link]

AI a growing challenge for NATO

The growing role of artificial intelligence in cyber attacks is a “double-edged sword” and a “huge challenge” for NATO, according to David van Weel, Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges. ““Artificial intelligence allows defenders to scan networks more automatically, and fend off attacks rather than doing it manually,” the Dutch national says. “But the other way around, of course, it's the same game.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. unveils “zero trust” strategy

The U.S. Department of Defense disclosed today how it plans to protect sensitive information with a “zero trust” network of more than 100 cybersecurity elements. “If we compare this to our home security, we can say that we traditionally lock our windows and doors, and that only those with a key can gain access,” the program’s director explained. “With zero trust, we have identified the items of value within the house and we’ve placed guards and locks with each one of those items inside the house.” [node:read-more:link]

Sweden planning defence budget hike

Sweden’s draft 2023 budget includes a proposed increase in defence spending to the equivalent of US$8.3 billion from this year’s $7.1 billion, prioritizing cyberdefence, signals intelligence, preparedness and expanded recruitment. Defence Minister Pål Jonson said today that the plan is for defence capability to be “gradually expanded year-on-year going forward” as the country, awaiting approval of NATO membership, moves toward the alliance’s spending targets. [node:read-more:link]

Canada in upcoming Space Flag exercise

The Department of National Defence confirmed November 17 that three members of 7 wing (Space) will participate alongside Australian and British personnel in a U.S. Space Force exercise next month. Space Flag 23-1 is the latest in a series of exercises which began in 2017 under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force before Space Command was established and it now incorporates more cyber and intelligence personnel. [node:read-more:link]

New cybersecurity policy for Europe

The European Commission is proposing a new cybersecurity policy it says would ensure that the European Union can coordinate member states’ defences against Russia. If implemented, it would “significantly increase investments in modern military cyber defense capabilities in a collaborative manner” and stressed the importance of strengthening the bloc’s “key partnership” with NATO. [node:read-more:link]

“Digital Red Cross” protection proposed

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is proposing “digital” markers in the hope of protecting websites and systems used for medical and humanitarian purposes against cyberattacks. The “markers” could incorporate information that targetted institutions are protected by the Geneva Conventions. [node:read-more:link]


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