Cyber Security/Protection

NATO increasing cyber defence posture

Moving into 2022, NATO is investing in investing in new cyber defence capabilities and refreshing policy, building on lessons from recent exercises such as Cyber Coalition 2021 in Estonia. The alliance’s Assistant Secretary-General for Emergency Security Challenges, David van Weel of the Netherlands, says the cost to member states will be up to €1 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Online tax services suspended

The Canada Revenue Agency confirmed Dec. 11 that it has taken down its online services as a precaution against a “security vulnerability affecting organizations around the world” and that “services will be available as soon as possible.” There was no indication that systems had been compromised or that there had been unauthorized access to taxpayers’ information. [node:read-more:link]

New way forward for NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance’s political leaders will endorse its latest Strategic Concept at a summit set for Spain next June. He says it will cover’s NATO’s relationship with China and give more prominence to technology and climate “reaffirming the centrality of the trans-Atlantic bond to our security and defense” during “turbulent times.” [node:read-more:link]

UofT figures in Apple’s spyware suit

NSO Group of Israel, which has created software designed to break into computers, is being sued by Apple after it was warned about the risk by a University of Toronto laboratory. In a complaint filed in U.S. Federal Court in California, Apple describes NSO as “amoral 21st century mercenaries who have created highly sophisticated cyber-surveillance machinery that invites routine and flagrant abuse.” NSO insists that its Pegasus software was developed for legitimate law enforcement use. [node:read-more:link]

Britain and U.S. tackling cyberfoes

Evolving cyberthreats “with a full range of capabilities” are the target of a new U.S.-U.K. initiative they say will “impose consequences” on common adversaries. The plan was discussed last week at an annual meeting of intelligence chiefs who “reaffirmed” their commitment Nov. 18. [node:read-more:link]

Cyber recruitment a DHS priority

Faced with an uptick in major cyberattacks in the last year or so, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to step up and streamline its recruitment and retention of cybersecurity professionals. [node:read-more:link]

Toronto Transit cyberattack

Personal information of some 25,000 current and former Toronto Transit Commission employees may have been stolen in a cyberattack last month. “We continue to investigate whether a small number of customers and vendors may also be impacted,” the TTC added in a Nov. 9 statement. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. puts bounty on hackers

The U.S. is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the “identification or location” of DarkSide hackers whose ransomware attack shut down a critical fuel pipeline on the east coast last May. A separate $5-million reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of anybody “conspiring to participate” in any ransomware attack by DarkSide, which is blievdd to be based in Eastern Europe. [node:read-more:link]

Cybercriminals face legal onslaught

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco says the Justice Department is stepping up its campaign against ransomware and cybercrime through arrests and other actions as the administration responds to what ir considers an urgent economic and national security threat. “If you come for us, we’re going to come for you,” she warned in an interview this week. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberattack hits NL healthcare

Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are cancelling thousands of non-emergency procedures after a weekend cyberattack on the province’s healthcare systems. Health Minister John Haggie said today that the government has “engaged cyber security experts to help us investigate and resolve and we’ve informed the appropriate authorities.” [node:read-more:link]

Chinese telecom’s licence revoked

Citing “national security” concerns, the U.S. has revoked the licence of China Telecom and told it to stop U.S. services by late December. State Department officials said Chinese government control of the company, which has provided services in the U.S. for 20 years and has customers in 110 countries, gives it an opportunity “to engage in espionage and other harmful activities.” [node:read-more:link]

Russian hackers on new offensive

Microsoft reports that Nobelium, the Russian-based agency behind last year's SolarWinds cyberattack, has targeted hundreds more companies and organizations. The latest wave this summer targetted “resellers and other technology service providers” of cloud data storage services. [node:read-more:link]

What to do about Huawei 5G

Canada has been silent on the question of banning Shenzhen-based Huawei for security reasons even as China invoked a policy of detaining innocent Canadians for political ends. Now that Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been returned, the federal government will start to feel pressure to make a decision that reflects the serious security concerns that have led many of our allies to ban the company from doing business their countries. [node:read-more:link]

Tech companies to help U.S. fight cyber threats

The Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative is an initiative unveiled by the U.S. Government this week. The effort will initially focus on combating ransomware and cyberattacks on cloud-computing providers, said Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. [node:read-more:link]


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