Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Espionage alleged at U.S. bases

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio wants the Department of Defense to look into reports that Chinese surveillance technologies are in use at U.S. military facilities. In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Rubio says “every day that passes only provides our adversaries additional time to infiltrate and exploit our national security.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. firm in legal trouble

Aventura Technologies Inc. of Long Island, N.Y., is alleged to have sold some $20 million in Chinese surveillance and other sensitive security equipment to U.S. customers after claiming they were manufactured in the U.S. Its customers included the Defense and Energy departments. U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the situation, which has led to a criminal complaint, raises “a grave concern” about cybersecurity. [node:read-more:link]

TikTok the talk of Washington

A Beijing company’s takeover two years ago of a U.S. social media application which has evolved into the increasingly popular TikTok short-form music video app is facing national security review by the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Two Senators are leading the charge, alleging that such apps could be used for espionage or become subject to foreign influence. [node:read-more:link]

Dark Web a boon for criminals

The advent of the so-called Dark Web evidently is affording criminals more opportunities to conduct their activities in ways which are difficult for law enforcement to track, according to the Rand Corp. The U.S. think tank recently collaborated on a workshop which identified a number of ways to address the challenge. [node:read-more:link]

Minor election meddling attempts

The Privy Council Office has confirmed that there were some online attempts to disseminate disinformation and misinformation during Canada's latest general election campaign, but nothing of a nature to justify public alert notices. Meanwhile, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould says there still is a sense that more need to be done to contain this use of social media. [node:read-more:link]

Alleged spy granted bail

Cameron Ortis, a senior RCMP official charged with violating the Security of Information Act and breach of trust for allegedly disclosing secrets to an unknown recipient and planning to reveal additional classified information to an unspecified foreign entity, has been granted bail. The terms of his release include having to live with his parents, reporting to RCMP weekly, and being prohibited from using any Internet-connected devices. [node:read-more:link]

Pentagon “help wanted” notice

As it contemplates how to manage the digital identities of all users of the U.S. military's IT infrastructure, the Defense Information Systems Agency is reaching out to the private sector. Its proposed Enterprise Identity Service would store usernames and passwords for employees, vendors and other authorized users in a single record, facilitating broad oversight of digital credentials and online. [node:read-more:link]

Energy grid cybershield

U.S. Cyber Command is working with the Department of Energy and industry on a more coherent approach to cyberattacks. A philosophy of “persistent engagement” is predicated on the notion of constant contact with potential enemies in cyberspace and officials have stressed this includes enabling other partners. It also includes using its unique authorities to operate outside U.S. networks as a way to provide warning for domestic agencies about potential threats. [node:read-more:link]

Business attacks costing billions

A U.S. Department of Defense official says more needs to be done to evaluate and reinforce the security of contractors facing cyberattacks. “We’re losing,” says Katie Arrington, special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition for cyber within the office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. She says the attacks cost the U.S. $600 billion annually and with 5G looming, that will be multiplied by the “umpteenth” in just a few years. [node:read-more:link]

Cybermonth concept questioned

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, promoted as a way to highlight the need for vigilance, but Kiersten Todt, managing director of The Cyber Readiness Institute is challenges the concept. “Cybersecurity shouldn’t be treated as a flavor of the month,” she writes. “We need to focus on it every day, for a simple reason: humans pose the biggest cybersecurity threat of all.... While security technology is much better than it was even just a few years ago, it nonetheless contains one major liability: it’s often only as good as the humans who use it.” [node:read-more:link]

Countering disinformation

The U.S. needs to refresh and expand its counterintelligence efforts in the face of a growing wave of cyberattacks, says Christopher Costa, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council. [node:read-more:link]

Military bug-hunting fruitful

Ethical hackers apparently have found critical vulnerabilities in Department of Defense systems through a “hack the proxy” program which probed the DoD’s virtual private networks. Of the 312 vulnerabilities identified, nine were considered “high severity.” An Army secure file-sharing site was taken offline last year after a similar exercise disclosed a critical weakness. [node:read-more:link]

Power grid protection

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is asking for technical advice on how to secure Internet-connected devices attached to the U.S. electricity grid. It is soliciting products and proposals as a prelude to having suppliers demonstrate them for the energy sector. The principal concern is securing the flow of data from distributed energy resources such as wind farms, which are becoming increasingly common in the shift to renewables. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis bail hearing

Oct. 17-18 has been set aside by an Ottawa court to hearing a bail application by Cameron Ortis, the former RCMP intelligence director charged with breaching the Security of Information Act and other statutes by allegedly collecting information for possible disclosure. He faces seven counts from early 2015 until his arrest in mid-September. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. intelligence official arrested

Henry Kyle Frese, a Defense Intelligence Agency official in Virginia, has been charged ith leaking classified information to two journalists. Arrested by the FBI Oct. 9 when he arrived for work, the 30-year-old is alleged to have accessed at least five classified reports and provided information about another country’s weaponry to one of the journalists with whom he had a relationship. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Insider Threat / Espionage