Cyber Security/Protection

Parting words from NSA counsel

U.S. adversaries’ evolving technological capabilities mean that the government needs cyberspace protection, says Glenn Gerstell, who is leaving his position as general counsel to the National Security Agency later this year. He shared his concerns at an American Bar Association event 15 January. [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]

Austria counters cyberattack

The Austrian foreign ministry has been targeted by a cyber-attack it suspects was launched by a “state actor” in another country. The ministry says the attack was recognized quickly and countermeasures were taken immediately. [node:read-more:link]

Leaks as a foreign policy instrument

Most information of late about U.S. cyber activities has come from unnamed, but likely authorized, government sources. These choreographed disclosures allow the administration to signal to adversaries that it views certain actions as infringing upon U.S. national interests while creating plausible deniability that keeps options open and limits domestic political risks. [node:read-more:link]

AI in the real intelligence world

Artificial intelligence, already in widespread use in gathering data for a range of purposes, needs to be hardened against attack if the intelligence community is to exploit its full potential. Dean Souleles, a key technology advisor within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in Washington examines, among other things, how Open Source Enterprise can be used to keep pace with developments. [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]

Meng extradition ruling reserved

The B.C. Supreme Court judge hearing the extradition case against detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has reserved her ruling. Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes did not indicate when her decision would be announced. [node:read-more:link]

Responding to cyber threats

Canada can learn a lot from its allies about how to tackle the accelerating threats in the cyber domain, the main lesson being that governments working in isolation cannot deal effectively with the onslaught. This is according to a report published 30 January by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries. It says in The Cyber Collaboration Imperative that the attacking forces have a fundamental tactical advantage that requires new policies and decision-making processes as well as an integrated public and private response. [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]

Congress upset at Brits’ 5G decision

The British government’s decision to allow limited use of Huawei 5G technology has prompted a group of Republicans in the U.S. Congress to introduce a bill designed to curtail intelligence sharing with the U.K. One says Britain’s decision gives China a “foothold” to conduct espionage as well as more economic and political leverage. [node:read-more:link]

Canada 5G plans practicable?

As Canada considers its 5G options and possible Huawei involvement despite U.S. security concerns, a prominent researcher says the government is putting together a policy which she described as logical. However, Catherine Rosenberg at the University of Waterloo, suggests that it remains “unclear” whether the policy would work the way the government would like. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei partly OK in U.K.

The Chinese telecom giant Huawei is being allowed by the British government to continue providing 5G service but will be prohibited from supplying hardware for “sensitive parts” of the network. Britain and other allies, including Canada, are being pressed by the U.S. to block Huawei on grounds that it could compromise national security but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says the government’s decision would not affect its intelligence-sharing relationship. [node:read-more:link]

An electoral challenge for Canada

The prospect of voter coercion and foreign election interference in Canada’s electoral process evidently pits the right to privacy against the right to freedom of expression. This is according to a briefing note prepared for Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc and made public through an Access to Information request. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei remains an issue for U.S.

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has revived concerns that permitting the Huawei 5G technology into the U.S. would give China access to “sensitive and personal information” through backdoors built into its software. The U.S. administration insists the global telecom giant is bound to spy on behalf of Beijing, a claim Huawei and China consistently deny. [node:read-more:link]

“Juice jacking” security threat

Public charging stations commonly found in many airports and other hubs are reportedly being used by criminals to gain access to personal data on mobile phones, tablets or laptops. So-called “juice jacking” evidently facilitates the installation of malware when a device is connected to a compromised power point even for a short-tern boost. [node:read-more:link]


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