Cyber Security/Protection

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]

Biden-Putin: cordial but conflicted

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended their first in-person meeting today with broad claims of good will but clearly were deeply divided on a range of issues. Putin said their talks “took place in a constructive spirit” while Biden called the overall tone “positive.” That said, Putin denied his country has been involved in cyberattacks against the U.S., insisting that the U.S. is the main offender. [node:read-more:link]

Colonial Pipeline ransom funds recovered

The U.S. Justice Department said June 7 that it had recovered much of the roughly $4.4-million Bitcoin ransom paid last month to Russian hackers who shut down the company’s control systems. A department team is reported to have seized some $2.3 million in cryptocurrency by hijacking the Darkside Network’s Bitcoin wallet. [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]

Canada Post victim of malware

A malware attack on a Canada Post supplier, Commport Communications, involved 44 of its largest customers and potentially nearly one million people. As a data interchange service, Commport manages manifest data for large-parcel shippers. Canada Post said in a May 26 statement that no personal financial information was accessed during the attack between July 2016 and March 2019. [node:read-more:link]

French AI powerhouse planned

The French technology companies, Thales and Atos, have announced a joint venture in a bid to become the country’s artificial intelligence and megadata powerhouse for public and private sector clients. “With the exponential rise in the number of sources of information, and increased pressure to respond more quickly to potential issues, state agencies need to manage ever-greater volumes of heterogeneous data and accelerate the development of new AI applications where security and sovereignty are key,” they said May 27. [node:read-more:link]

Japanese government agencies hacked

Information-sharing software developed by Fujitsu enabled hackers to leak data from Japanese government offices. Among other things, air traffic control data at Tokyo Narita Airport was compromised, prompting a cybersecurity alert. Fujitsu suspended the software's services pending an investigation. [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]

Leading cyber firm hacked

California-based FireEye Inc., which has helped governments and companies to deal with security issues for years, has recently been the target of hackers operating from a country “with top-tier offensive capabilities.” The theft of FireEye technology is being described as akin to stealing the FBI’s investigative tools. [node:read-more:link]

SolarWinds attack impact widespread

It has been disclosed that 37 companies in the U.S. defence industrial base were affected by the Solarwinds cyberattack last year. RAdm William Chase III, deputy principal cyber adviser to the Secretary of Defense, set out the details May 18 during an appearance before a congressional subcommittee. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian company hacked by Russians

Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company which figures prominently in U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, was hacked by Russian military intelligence in November. Area 1 Security, a California company which specializes in counter-phishing, says the "Fancy Bear" hackers are known to cybersecurity researchers. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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