Russian hack discloses weaknesses

Days after it was confirmed that Russian hackers had exploited a software flaw to attack several U.S. agencies, the Government Accountability Office has released the results of an audit which showed that 23 agencies are failing to manage risks in their IT supply chains. However, the GAO’s team leader acknowledges that even with “robust” management, “most likely this particular attack would have happened because of the level of sophistication that was involved.” [node:read-more:link]

Israel welcomes admitted spy

Former U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned in 1985 after pleading guilty to spying for Israel, has been welcomed to Tel Aviv by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pollard was paroled in 2015 but prohibited from foreign travel for at least five years. Israel had granted him citizenship in 1995. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese intelligence probes?

A Chinese citizen has pleaded guilty to taking photographs of a U.S. Navy base in Florida. His arrest is similar to the cases of three other Chinese nationals caught photographing the base in Key West. [node:read-more:link]

Ex-USAF employee jailed for espionage

A West Virginia woman who once served in the U.S.Air Force, working with the National Security Agency, has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison Monday for planning to offer NSA information to Russia. She pleaded guilty last year as part of a plea agreement. [node:read-more:link]

Climate change a “security” issue

The U.S. Department of Defense is incorporating climate analysis into its policy and strategic planning. “We will include the security implications of climate change in our risk analyses, strategy development, and planning guidance,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed. [node:read-more:link]

Italian frigate commander arrested

An Italian navy officer identified as a frigate captain has been arrested while allegedly handing over classified documents to a Russian officer posted at his country’s embassy in Rome. A national police special operations unit carried out the arrests March 30 “during a clandestine meeting between the two” at which money changed hands. [node:read-more:link]

Former USAF analyst guilty of leaks

A former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst pleaded guilty March 31 to leaking classified documents to a journalist about military drone strikes against Middle East terrorist targets in 2014 and 2015. Daniel Hale, who was working as a contractor at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at the time, faces up to 10 years in prison. [node:read-more:link]

China threatens to “blind” Five Eyes

Canada and its partners in the Five Eyes security alliance – Australia, Britain, New Sealand and the U.S. ­ – have been threatened by a Chinese foreign ministry official. Accusing the allies of accusing Beijing of silencing critics in Hong Kong, Zhao Lijian says that countries which “dared harm China's sovereignty . . . should beware that their eyes could be blinded” and it did not “matter if they have five or 10 eyes.” [node:read-more:link]

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]

A frightening “what if” scenario

A commentary published in a Washington newspaper speculates about what would have happened if last month’s drone attacks on Saudi petroleum filters had targeted nuclear reactors. Calling them “radioactive sitting ducks”, the authors point out that Saudi Arabia plans to build several nuclear power plants, following the example of the neighbouring United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt and Turkey. [node:read-more:link]

Secret military spending grows

U.S. Department of Defense spending on classified projects has continued to rise, accounting for some $756 billion or nearly 11 per cent of its 2019 budget request of $718 billion. Critics say excessive hidden spending hinders congressional oversight, leads to waste and undermines public trust. [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity certification

The U.S. Department of Defense Department is close to finalizing a new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework for assessing suppliers’ protection of sensitive data. After extensive feedback since the first draft was released six weeks ago, Ellen Lord, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, says the next iteration should be published in the first week of November, setting the stage for a final version in January after further comment. [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]


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