Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Procurement policy overhaul recommended

An all-party House of Commons committee says the government should give more weight to national security than costs of information technology and security hardware procurements. In its report to Parliament, the committee expressed concerns about Chinese state-owned enterprises and recommended more rigorous screening of contractors who install and maintain equipment in sensitive facilities such as embassies. [node:read-more:link]

Conservatives abandoning security committee

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is pulling his MPs out of the National Intelligence and Security Committee, saying it has been used to cover up sensitive documents about the National Microbiology Laboratory. The Conservatives have been pressing the government for weeks for details about the removal of two Chinese employees from the Winnipeg facility and its relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. [node:read-more:link]

Fired Chinese researchers case reviewed

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians chaired by Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty is reviewing Public Health Agency of Canada documents about the case of two Chinese scientists who were fired from the Natiional Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg two years ago amid a shroud of secrecy. Two national security experts are speculating about alleged espionage but the Chinese foreign ministry says “normal” scientific cooperation with Canada “should not be politicized.” [node:read-more:link]

Denmark defends European relationship

Reports that Danish intelligence helped the U.S. to spy on European leaders several years ago are neither being denied nor commented on directly, but Prime Minister Mette Freederiksen said June 2 that her country has solid relations with its allies. “I do not think it is correctly presented that there is a need to restore relations with either France or Germany,” she said. “We have an ongoing dialogue.” [node:read-more:link]

European spying allegations resurrected

Eight years after it was alleged that the U.S. had spied on some of its allies, European leaders are once again demanding explanations after new claims. The original claim focused on Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel but the latest focuses on a report that Danish intelligence had worked with the U.S. After talks with Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron said any he expects “completely open” clarification. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei facing renewed pressure in Europe

The espionage trial of a former Polish intelligence agent and a former Huawei employee began today in Warsaw as some European countries consider whether to block the Chinese company’s involvement in upgrading their telecommunications networks. The two accused were arrested in January 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese research links worrisome

Alberta has ordered four universities to stop seeking research projects linked to the Chinese government. “I am deeply concerned about the potential theft of Canadian intellectual property and further concerned that research partnerships […] may be used by Chinese military and intelligence agencies,” Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says. “More needs to be done to curb foreign state infiltration into our research and innovation centres.” [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity a Biden priority

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team evidently has cybersecurity a priority if impending cabinet nominees are any indication. The named individuals would begin “working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time.” [node:read-more:link]

Top-secret cloud service unveiled

A new cloud-based service designed to secure some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive workloads has been completed by Microsoft. A company executive calls Azure Government Top Secret a “natural extension” to the cloud-based services for the intelligence community. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis case an intriguing web

The RCMP’s decision to charge its head of intelligence, Cameron Ortis, with leaking secrets evidently was due to the involvement of a U.S. gambler who also is an FBI informant. R.J. Cipriani says that concern about being drawn into criminal activity through the Internet led to another individual being convicted of drug trafficking and that the FBI, in pursuing that case, led to a B.C. company to which Ortis, whose trial is ongoing, is alleged to have offered secret information. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign comms technology ban?

A U.S. Department of Commerce directive plan to prohibit the purchase of information and communications technologies from “foreign adversaries” is getting some push-back from smaller telecom carriers. One says the executive order might even be illegal. [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity mishandled in U.S

Despite the “expenditure of substantial resources,” the U.S. State Department stands accused by  internal auditors of continued failure to secure itself against cyberattacks. Its Office of the Inspector General says in a new report that “significant” shortcomings put sensitive information at risk at home and abroad. [node:read-more:link]

5G targeted in U.S. Senate bill

Draft legislation introduced by a group of senior U.S. Senators could require common operational standards for mobile networking equipment as a way to avoid Chinese providers which the U.S. considers a national security threat. The bipartisan bill has been welcomed by the domestic telecom sector. [node:read-more:link]

EU permitting limited 5G use

A day after Britain announced a similar approach, the European Union said 29 January that it prefers not to impose a blanket ban on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s 5G technologies. Instead, in the latest setback for the U.S. campaign against Huawei, the EU’s governing commission has unveiled security measures which including blocking access to “critical and sensitive” elements of European mobile networks. [node:read-more:link]

Two arrested over China ties

Charles Lieber, head of Harvard University’s department of chemistry and chemical biology, has been charged with lying about his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program and concealing payments he received for research. Authorities also announced that Yanqing Ye, described as a People’s Liberation Army officer doing research at Boston University, was charged for allegedly sending research-related documents and other information to Beijing. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Insider Threat / Espionage