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February 4, 2020.
By the CyberWire staff
“Chaos” and “debacle” are the words the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and others use to describe the Iowa Democratic Party caucus, which yesterday gave party members the opportunity to express their preference for a Presidential candidate. Those preferences remain unknown, as the results are still being counted and checked, delayed by problems with an app deployed in the caucuses for the first time. There are no reports of any form of cyberattack. The distinctive way the caucuses are conducted suggests only limited lessons for election security. Principal among those would be "don't deploy technology in voting until it's been thoroughly tested under realistic conditions."
While there was little-to-no evidence of foreign interference in Iowa, a McAfee study released this morning suggests that local authorities in the US are particularly ill-prepared to counter the problem of influence operations conducted through compromised county websites. Fixing the basic failures in website design McAfee calls out wouldn't be a panacea, but it might amount to a good start.
Japanese electronics giant NEC disclosed Friday that its networks had sustained an unauthorized intrusion by parties unknown in 2016. The incident was discovered in 2017, with remediation continuing into 2019. The company says no sensitive data were lost, but it doesn't explain why the disclosure was made now.
Twitter said yesterday that a network of "fake accounts" had been exploiting its API to match usernames with phone numbers. Twitter says it's fixed the problem, and warns that a nation-state might have been responsible.
Today's issue includes events affecting Australia, China, France, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, United Kingdom, United States.
Bring your own context.
Venture capitalists hear a lot of pitches and see a lot of pitch decks. What are some mistakes they see that a security start-up might avoid?
"I'd say one mistake that I often see when I'm pitched to... I have a technical background, you know. I've spent the majority of my career building security solutions. So don't spend three slides telling me why security is a problem. I fully understand that. Let's save that time and use it for something else. Whereas hose three slides may be very important if you're going into, say, a family office that doesn't necessarily have a deep background in security. So do your research. Understand whom you're speaking to. And tailor your deck accordingly. You don't have to have just one deck."
—Michael Sutton, founder of StoneMill Ventures, on the CyberWire Daily Podcast, 1.31.20.
Always consider the audience, understand their backgrounds (and their likely background knowledge, and the assumptions they'll probably bring to the meeting), and remember that your goal is communication, not self-expression.
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Aerospace news worthy of attention.
If you're interested in space and communications (technology, policy, business, and operations), take a look at Cosmic AES Signals & Space. Produced in partnership with the CyberWire, Signals & Space offers a monthly overview of news in this sector.
Cyber influence campaigns have plagued countries across the globe in the past few years, with foreign policy objectives, economic goals, and public opinion caught in the crossfire. LookingGlass researchers have tracked over 2000 People’s Republic of China-related influence operators on Twitter to better understand the current landscape. In our next webinar, Tom Creedon will explore these findings to gain an understanding of operator account patterns and targets. Save your seat for February 6 at 1pm ET.
And Recorded Future's threat intelligence podcast, produced in cooperation with the CyberWire, is also up. In this episode, "A Journalist’s Perspective on Global Cyber Threats," they have a conversation with Hakan Tanriverdi, cybersecurity journalist for Germany’s public broadcasting network, who discusses what it's like reporting on a highly technical subject area.
Suits & Spooks(Washington, DC, United States, February 6 - 7, 2020) Suits & Spooks DC is the only international security summit where the attendees and speakers from government agencies and technology companies engage in discussion and debate of security challenges. World-class speakers describe their vision of future threats and leading-edge companies will exhibit novel solutions. Get 15% off with discount code cyberwire15.
Cyber or Cleared Job Fair, February 13, San Antonio.(San Antonio, Texas, United States, February 13, 2020) Cleared and non-cleared cybersecurity pros make your next career move at the Cyber or Cleared Job Fair, February 13 in San Antonio. Meet face-to-face with leading cyber employers. Visit our site for more details.
RSAC 2020(San Francisco, California, United States, February 24 - 28, 2020) Connect to the people and ideas that matter. To your growth. To your organization. At RSAC 2020, February 24 – 28, explore current and emerging trends, gain valuable skills and network with peers. Register today!
Cyber Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
Iowa Caucus Results Delayed by Counting Problems(Wall Street Journal) An election debacle unfolded as the Iowa Democratic Party failed to release the results of the state’s presidential caucuses, saying it had found “inconsistencies in the reporting” as the nation awaited the outcome of the first-in-the-nation nominating contest.
Iowa Caucus Results Delayed by Apparent App Issue(Wall Street Journal) The mobile app that appears to have caused problems during the Iowa presidential caucuses was built by a small Washington, D.C.-based company connected to a nonprofit progressive digital strategy firm.
Vulnerability Summary for the Week of January 27, 2020(CISA) The CISA Weekly Vulnerability Summary Bulletin is created using information from the NIST NVD. In some cases, the vulnerabilities in the Bulletin may not yet have assigned CVSS scores. Please visit NVD for updated vulnerability entries, which include CVSS scores once they are available.
Coronavirus Fears Exploited in Phishing Attacks(AppRiver) Over the past few weeks, we have been patiently awaiting a surge in malicious email activity surrounding the Novel Coronavirus outbreak that has garnered headlines across the globe. We had previously spotted some run-of-the-mill spam campaigns that were leveraging the outbreak to hawk over-ear facemasks. We subsequently saw some activity from the Emotet malware group that was exploiting the topic by sending mal-spam links. However, those were limited in scale and seemed to be only targeting users in Japan.
AI Special Report(AppRiver) Welcome to 2020. We’re not quite in the age of the flying cars yet, however, we are now firmly in the era of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in many homes and businesses across America.
Mobile Threat Landscape(Wandera) It should be another momentous year for mobile security, with cyber attacks growing rapidly in sophistication and distribution. This report will cover the key mobile security trends that emerged last year as well as summarize thoughts for the mobile threat landscape for the year ahead.
Antivirus Would Have Saved Them $71 billion in 2019(Scoop News) Data gathered and calculated by Precisecurity.com shows that some businesses could have saved about $71 billion by having an effective antivirus solution. The affected businesses saw millions of records exposed due to poor security.
HPE Buys Scytale, Embraces Open Source Security(SDXCentral) Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today said it acquired cloud security startup Scytale for an undisclosed amount. The deal will boost HPE’s identity management technology as well as its credibility within the open source community.
EMVCo certifies Trustonic to secure mobile payments apps(Finextra Research) Mobile device and app security leader Trustonic today announces that its trusted execution environment (TEE)* solution is the first hardware-backed TEE to complete the EMVCo Software-Based Mobile Payments security evaluation process.
eperi and Netskope: Strong Alliance Between Two Cloud Security Leaders(Yahoo) Cloud services are being adopted at a significant rate, with recent statistics showing that 85% of enterprise internet traffic flows to and from cloud services. Therefore, the high need of an all-embracing cloud security solution, looking at access and behavioral user interaction as well as securing
Rackspace Announces FedRAMP Authorized Platform on Amazon Web Services(Globe Newswire) Rackspace extends its FedRAMP authorization to include Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) within Rackspace Government Cloud (RGC), a managed security and compliance platform, enabling state-of-the-art private, public and hybrid cloud solutions for the government ecosystem.
Red Teamer's Cookbook: BYOI (Bring Your Own Interpreter)(Black Hills Information Security) Marcello Salvati // This fairly lengthy blog post aims at providing Red Team Operators ideas on how to incorporate BYOI tradecraft into their own custom tooling and get those creative malware development juices flowing. This blog post can also serve as a “light” introduction to .NET and how to write basic C2, so there’s hopefully …
Compliance: Watch your step!(SC Media) Avoiding the perilous pitfalls of compliance It’s no secret that Fortune 1000 CISOs struggle with compliance, but the pitfalls that fuel the most
Another Boeing Software “Glitch”(BlogInfoSec) How I hate the word “glitch,” which is commonly used to describe faulty software in press reports, blogs, and the like. In my opinion, it trivializes serious software errors.
Leading NYU Tandon hardware security researcher named an IEEE fellow(Yahoo) New York University School of Engineering Professor Ramesh Karri has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest technical professional association, for his contributions to and leadership in trustworthy electronic hardware. Karri is a
Wolf 51 returns as Pacific Air Forces Air, Cyberspace Ops director(DVIDS) Major Gen. Scott L. Pleus., Director of Air and Cyberspace Operations, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, visited Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, as a guest speaker during the 8th Fighter Wing Annual Awards Ceremony to share his experience as Wolf 51 with the current members of the Wing on Jan. 31.
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
Ex-CIA Engineer Set to Go on Trial for Massive Leak (Wall Street Journal) Manhattan federal prosecutors are poised to open their case Tuesday in the trial of a former CIA software engineer charged with handing over a trove of classified information on the spy agency’s hacking operations to WikiLeaks.
CPX 360 Vienna(Vienna, Austria, February 4 - 6, 2020) At CPX 360, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of today’s dynamic threat landscape and the emerging challenges within cyber security. Get a look at the next wave of Check Point innovation and discover...
5th Annual Atlanta Cyber Security Summit(Atlanta, Georgia, USA, February 5, 2020) C-Suite & Senior Level Executives: Register with Promo Code CYBERWIRE95 to receive $95 Admission (Standard Price is $350). Learn from renowned experts from The FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Dept. of Homeland...
2020 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit(Jerusalem, Israel, February 11 - 13, 2020) We’re expanding the Summit to three days! Invite-only events will take place February 11-12, with Summit Day on February 13. Summit Week will be packed as ever, with corporate meet ups, VC forums, insider...
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