Data Protection

Cloud said useful but vulnerable

Growing reliance on the public cloud as a core element of public- and private-sector transition to an increasingly digital world worries Eric Trexler, vice-president of global governments and critical infrastructure at Texas-based Forcepoint, a company partly owned by Raytheon which develops and markets cybersecurity software. While the trend is expected to give agencies more data storage flexibility, he says it also amounts to an “attractive bullseye” for cyberattackers. [node:read-more:link]

JEDI reasons released by court

Pentagon officials are “quite likely” to have overlooked a material error in Microsoft’s bid on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure multi-billion-dollar cloud data storage project, according a federal judge who has placed a hold on work in response to an Amazon injunction request. Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith issued the ruling Feb. 13 but her reasons have only now been released by the court. [node:read-more:link]

Apple asked to unlock iPhones

U.S. Attorney General William Barr wants Apple to unlock two of its iPhones which were owned by a Saudi air force officer who was shot by police after he had killed three persons at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida last month. Insisting 13 January that it is “very important” to know about the shooter’s communications, Barr says Apple has not given investigators “substantive assistance”, a claim the company denies. [node:read-more:link]

“The Force” is not with Oracle

Oracle Corp. has lost its latest legal challenge of how the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a multi-billion-dollar cloud-computing contract for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. The contract originally was awarded to Microsoft after a competition with Amazon Web Services, but Oracle contended that the contract requirements had been tailored to the other companies’ advantage. [node:read-more:link]

5G Networks: an Australian perspective

With 5G becoming the next generation of mobile telecommunications, China’s involvement in the technology remains a widespread concern because of national security questions. Most of the concern is in the U.S. but it also has become a political conundrum for Canada and other allies. The Australian Strategic Policy Initiative has taken a close look at the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Privacy laws upgrade recommended

A U.S. technology company’s collection of images of Canadians without their knowledge has prompted a number of Canadian privacy commissioners to recommend stricter federal and provincial privacy laws. New York-based Clearview AI continues to defend its activities but the company also is being investigated by Australian and British authorities. [node:read-more:link]

Passport contract called privacy threat

The federal government has awarded IBM Canada a $1.5-million contract to develop an online passport application process but privacy and data protection advocates fear it could put personal information at risk. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada insists that “the privacy of Canadians and the safety of their personal information will be an absolute priority.” [node:read-more:link]

China’s Silk Road strategy

A report by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies warns that even if the U.S. manages to keep its allies from using Chinese telecommunications technology, Beijing’s “digital silk road” strategy enables China to burrow into those countries' economies and infrastructure, creating dependencies that may ultimately weaken alliance ties. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian Supply Chain Security Landscape

Confronting the numerous risks and complexities that emerge when attempting to secure Supply Chains is a more daunting task when mandatory standards have not been established. Enough information exists to build a regulatory framework for Canada; what we need is a commitment to do something about it. [node:read-more:link]

CSE head-hunting aggressively

The Communications Security Establishment is looking for approximately 150 new full-time staff and 300 students next year, partly due to personnel shifting to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security which protects federal cyber assets and provides advice to industries, businesses and citizens on how to deal with online threats. An average day can bring more than 100 million malicious infiltration attempts. [node:read-more:link]

Call for tighter security

Warnings several years ago about gaps in Canada’s protection of ostensibly secure information are said to be gaining new traction as the case against a senior RCMP official moves through the legal process. It is leading to a call for a broad review of how intelligence agencies ensure their own staff do not lose or leak sensitive material. [node:read-more:link]

Malware increasingly malevolent

Hacking campaigns designed to trick computer users into downloading malicious software have been uncovered by the California-based cloud security company, Zscaler Inc. One typical approach hacks unsecured sites, prompting users to update a false FlashPlayer which actually installs a Remote Access Trojan which then sends encrypted user information to the hacker’s site an allows access to the user’s system. [node:read-more:link]

Quantum a jump too far?

Dr. Deborah Frincke, the U.S. National Security Agency’s director of research, says the race to develop a true quantum computer could create more security threats by its potential for cracking the odes which secure digital information. Accordingly, she says, it’s time for the U.S. government to begin adapting its security protocols to deal with a threat which could be less than two decades away. [node:read-more:link]

Firefox exploited by scammers

A flaw in the Mac and Windows versions of Mozilla’s Firefox browser evidently has been used to dupe users into thinking their systems will be disabled if they don’t take action by calling a toll-free number. Mozilla says it is working on a fix for inclusion in an upcoming Firefox release. [node:read-more:link]

Twitter data-mined for Saudis

U.S. federal prosecutors say two former Twitter employees used their system access on behalf of Saudi Arabia to collect personal information on dissidents. The Department of Justice says it will not permit U.S. companies or technologies to become “tools of foreign repression." [node:read-more:link]


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