Dateline Kviy, Minsk, Moscow, Paris, and Washington: False flags and provocations.
False flags and cyber prep. (The CyberWire) Diplomacy continues, but tensions rise around Ukraine as the US warns a Russian invasion might be imminent, and Russia calls Western "hysteria" a dangerous provocation likely to lead to war.
U.S.-Russia Standoff Over Ukraine Heads Into Tensest Week (Bloomberg) Weekend call between Biden and Putin produced no breakthroughs. U.S. says Russia may plan Ukraine attack as soon as this week.
Russia, Ukraine, and cyberwar: 5 big questions (VentureBeat) Russia is expected to use cyber attacks to augment any invasion of Ukraine. But could the conflict lead a cyberwar involving other nations?
Tripwire for real war? Cyber's fuzzy rules of engagement (AP NEWS) President Joe Biden couldn’t have been more blunt about the risks of cyberattacks spinning out of control. “If we end up in a war, a real shooting war with a major power, it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence,” he told his intelligence brain trust in July.
Ukraine’s territorial integrity ‘not negotiable’, says Olaf Scholz after Zelenskiy meeting – live updates (the Guardian) German chancellor and Ukrainian president hold press conference after Kyiv meeting; Sergei Lavrov has called on Vladimir Putin to lean on diplomacy
Ukraine’s President Tries to Avert Panic as Pressure Mounts (New York Times) With Ukraine at the center of Europe’s most intense security crisis of the post-Cold War era, President Zelensky is driving home his message of optimism.
Ukraine president's ratings fall as crisis with Russia brews (AP NEWS) As a political novice making an unlikely run to be Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to reach out to Russia-backed rebels in the east who were fighting Ukrainian forces and make strides toward resolving the conflict.
Ukraine joins Baltic nations in OSCE query of Russian troop movements (Defense News) The Ukrainian government asked Moscow for “detailed explanations on military activities in the areas adjacent to the territory of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied Crimea,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
EU is ready to take action if Russia invades Ukraine, but not yet sure it will do so, official says (Reuters) The European Union is preparing several responses to any further moves by Russia to destabilise Ukraine, but the bloc does not know exactly what Moscow plans to do, an EU official said.
Russia-Ukraine tensions high as Biden-Putin call fails to yield a breakthrough (Washington Post) President Biden will speak to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone Sunday as Western allies scramble to deter a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, as Moscow intensifies its pressure on NATO allies and Kyiv.
Russia, amid ongoing drills near Ukraine, says ties with U.S. are 'on the floor' (Reuters) Despite a recent uptick in bilateral dialogue, relations between Moscow and Washington are "lying on the floor", the Kremlin told Russia's RIA news agency, amid Western objections to ongoing major Russian military drills near its borders with Ukraine.
If Russia is on the brink of invading Ukraine, you wouldn't know it in Moscow (The Telegraph) Despite warnings in the West that an invasion could come 'at any time', life in Moscow could not be more normal
Boris Johnson urges Russia to ‘step back from the brink’ as war with Ukraine looms (The Telegraph) Number 10 promises to 'work tirelessly' on last-ditch round of diplomacy in attempt to prevent conflict
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden to hold Ukraine crisis talks today (Evening Standard) World leaders hold last minute talks as they work to bring Russia ‘back from the brink’
He Knows Putin Well. And He Fears for Ukraine. (New York Times) The Finnish president, Sauli Niinisto, has carved out a vital role as interpreter between East and West, and he is not optimistic about the prospects for peace.
German leader in Ukraine as fears of Russian invasion grow (AP NEWS) More NATO troops headed to Eastern Europe and some nations worked to move their citizens and diplomats out of Ukraine on Monday, as Germany’s chancellor made a last-ditch attempt to head off a feared Russian invasion that some warn could be just days away.
U.S. says Russia may create pretext to attack Ukraine (Reuters) Russia could invade Ukraine at any time and might create a surprise pretext for an attack, the United States said on Sunday, as it reaffirmed a pledge to defend "every inch" of NATO territory.
Biden, Putin Discuss Ukraine as Kremlin Slams 'Provocations' (The Moscow Times) U.S. President Joe Biden to speak to Vladimir Putin on Saturday after the United States warned a Russian invasion could begin in days.
Biden-Putin phone calls plot shift from Ukraine "concerns" to NATO war footing (Newsweek) How did we get here? A look back at how calls between President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart played out.
US carrying out most aggressive intelligence leaks on Russia 'since Cuban missile crisis' (The Telegraph) Washington is releasing details of Russia's military plans in the hope it will delay an invasion of Ukraine, US officials say
Russians Have Already Started Hybrid War With Bomb Threats, Cyberattacks, Ukraine Says (Wall Street Journal) For Russia to create havoc in Ukraine, it may not need to launch an all-out invasion. Ukrainian officials say that Moscow is stepping up a destabilization campaign involving cyberattacks, economic disruption and, most recently, hundreds of false bomb threats.
Map: Where Russian Troops Are Positioned Around Ukraine (New York Times) An estimated 130,000 Russian troops are in position on Ukraine’s northern, eastern and southern sides.
Tracking Russian Military Vehicles on the Move (bellingcat) Thanks to a wealth of public databases, identifying Russian licence plates is easy. And there’s no better time to do so.
Ukraine crisis live: Kyiv tells airlines to skirt Black Sea amid Russian drills; UK defence secretary cuts short holiday (the Guardian) Latest updates: Ukraine advises airline to avoid Russian exercises; Ben Wallace returning to UK due to situation
US cyber defense agency warns of possible Russian cyberattacks amid tensions (TheHill) The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a "Shields Up" alert for American organizations saying that U.S.
US security and intelligence agencies prep for potential Russian hacking threats (CNN) Intelligence and national security agencies across the US government met on Friday to discuss how the Biden administration might respond to cyberattacks from Russia in light of the Ukraine crisis, three US officials familiar with the meeting told CNN.
Why security professionals should pay attention to what Russia is doing (ComputerWeekly.com) Find out why even though the average organisation is an unlikely target for a Russian state cyber attack, security teams still need to watch what Russian APTs are up to.
New intelligence suggests Russia plans a ‘false flag’ operation to trigger an invasion of Ukraine (Washington Post) The intelligence was discussed in a White House meeting Thursday night and led to renewed calls for Americans to leave Ukraine immediately.
Russia plots 'false flag' attack to provoke war with Ukraine (The Telegraph) Vladimir Putin expected to claim he did not strike first as Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, fears 'straw man' diplomacy
RIA: Russia tensions have not increased cyberattacks on Estonia (ERR) Although cyberattacks have been carried out against Ukraine in recent weeks amid rising tensions with Russia, the number of attacks against Estonia has not significantly increased, the State Information System Authority (RIA) said.
After Biden-Putin call, U.S. still unsure whether Russia will invade Ukraine (Newsweek) "We don't have full visibility into President Putin's decision-making," a senior administration official told reporters Saturday.
As Joe Biden talks up Ukraine War, Russia keeps Europe guessing (Newsweek) The president warned Americans to leave Ukraine amid the threat of an invasion by Russia, which is stepping up pressure on Europe's gas supplies as leverage.
White House Warns Russian Invasion of Ukraine Could be Imminent (Foreign Policy) Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, said Moscow could “in very short order” invade its neighbor again.
Russia set to invade Ukraine ‘any day now’, warns US (The Telegraph) Britain orders citizens to leave ‘while commercial means remain available’ as Boris Johnson voices fears for Europe’s security
US officials say Russia could invade Ukraine in days despite Moscow denial (Newsweek) Two U.S. officials confirmed to Newsweek that Russia could stage an invasion of Ukraine within days but a consensus on Moscow's plans eludes the intelligence community.
Russia Envoy: US Has No Evidence of Ukraine Invasion During, After Olympics (Newsweek) In comments shared directly with Newsweek, Russia's top envoy in the United States has dismissed a stark warning issued by President Joe Biden's administration alleging that Moscow may imminently order military action against Ukraine during or after China's Olympic truce, pointing out that Washington has offered no proof to back the claims.
Remaining U.S. diplomats in Ukraine to work from western city of Lviv -report (Reuters) The U.S. embassy to Ukraine's remaining diplomatic staff will work from the western city of Lviv, online newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda cited a U.S. diplomatic source as saying on Sunday, amid mounting fears of a possible Russian invasion.
No rescue for U.S. citizens who stay if Russia invades Ukraine: White House (Newsweek) The White House "obviously cannot predict the future," but "the risk is high enough and the threat is now immediate enough," NSA Jake Sullivan said.
KLM Suspends Ukraine Flights Over Security Concerns (Simple Flying) Amid heightened tensions in Eastern Europe, KLM has decided to halt its commercial flights to Ukraine.
As Joe Biden talks up Ukraine War, Russia keeps Europe guessing (Newsweek) The president warned Americans to leave Ukraine amid the threat of an invasion by Russia, which is stepping up pressure on Europe's gas supplies as leverage.
Ukraine fears Macron's fraught peace-dealings with Putin (Newsweek) Current and former Ukrainian officials told Newsweek that Kyiv cannot be forced into concessions by Western partners.
Chilling sign Aussie attack is imminent (news) Australia is at risk of a potentially crippling wave of cyber attack within weeks, as tensions between Russia and Ukraine threaten to boil over.
This is why Russia is now ready for a full scale invasion (The Telegraph) 'What we see on the ground is no different from an actual preparation for an invasion'
Foreign Minister Haavisto: EU's joint response to Russia shows unity (YLE News) Russia's foreign minister had demanded separate replies from member states to his letter seeking clarification on security demands.
Is There a Diplomatic Offramp in Ukraine? (Foreign Policy) As Russia masses troops along the border—and in Belarus—the prospects for peaceful resolution are fading, but there are options.
We're surrounded on all sides, Ukrainian army warns as Russian forces close in (The Telegraph) US embassy workers are phoning American citizens based in Ukraine and urging them to leave the country
Russia's joint exercise with Belarus reveals what a Ukraine invasion would look like (Atlantic Council) Although Union Courage '22 has only just begun, it is clear that Russia is focusing on air superiority, close air support, long-range fires, intelligence collection, and combat sustainment.
The Day After Russia Attacks (Foreign Affairs) What war in Ukraine would look like—and how America should respond.
Ukraine Crisis: Deterring Putin is expensive but much cheaper than war (Atlantic Council) Deterring Putin from launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is an expensive business, but it is infinitely cheaper than the price the international community will have to pay if Russia unleashes a major European war.
Why Mediation Around Ukraine Keeps Failing (Foreign Policy) It’s not just about Moscow and Kyiv but the entire Russia-West relationship.
What Putin Really Wants in Ukraine (Foreign Affairs) Russia seeks to stop NATO’s expansion, not to annex more territory.
The Shoals of Ukraine (Foreign Affairs) Why has Ukraine been a stumbling block for U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War?
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault (Foreign Affairs) Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.
Ukraine-Russia crisis: Boris Johnson says he 'fears for security of Europe' as Britons told to leave Ukraine now
(The Telegraph) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Western allies he "fears for the security of Europe," as UK nationals were told to leave Ukraine immediately amid the growing possibility of a Russian invasion.
What the US is watching that could signal Russia is launching an invasion of Ukraine (CNN) It might be a cyberattack targeting Ukraine's energy grid. Or the movement of Russian battalions and tanks along the border and into firing range. Or perhaps even a long-range missile attack.
Putin's war plans are far from popular | Opinion (Newsweek) The role of domestic public opinion should not be underestimated, even in Russia.
European elites can no longer turn a blind eye to Putin's imperial ambition (The Telegraph) Across the continent a long list of leaders has accepted Russian cash while Nord Stream 2 casts a long shadow over German policy
Tulsi Gabbard says Biden administration wants Russia to invade Ukraine (Newsweek) The U.S. warned on Friday that Russia could potentially invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics.
Why Progressives Should Help Defend Ukraine (Foreign Policy) Acknowledging the United States’ failings doesn’t mean ignoring Russian imperialism.
The West’s toothless attitude towards Ukraine leaves world on brink of a new Cold War (The Telegraph) Had Western forces taken a confident approach, Nato would have dispatched a division to support Ukraine and averted disaster
Kamala Harris to attend Munich Security Conference (EconoTimes) US Vice President Kamala Harris will be going on another overseas engagement next week as she will be attending the Munich Security Conference in Germany. Harris is also set to rally allies as tensions in Eastern Europe...
Ukraine crisis exposes UK reliance on Russian diesel (The Telegraph) Britain risks disruption to its fuel supplies as energy prices continue to surge
Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
RiskIQ Threat Intelligence Roundup: QBot, Magecart, Agent Tesla Headline Hijacked Infrastructure (RiskIQ) RiskIQ's daily propriety updates to our Threat Intelligence Portal give users more timely and actionable intelligence as existing threat actors and campaigns evolve and new ones emerge. Over the past two weeks of tracking threat campaigns and infrastructure, RiskIQ researchers have observed an increased level of threat campaigns hijacking legitimate infrastructure across the global threat landscape.
Apple Says WebKit Zero-Day Hitting iOS, macOS Devices (SecurityWeek) Apple’s struggles with zero-day attacks on its iOS and macOS platforms are showing no signs of slowing down
CISA Says 'HiveNightmare' Windows Vulnerability Exploited in Attacks (SecurityWeek) CISA has added 16 new CVEs to its list of known exploited vulnerabilities, including the Windows vulnerability tracked as HiveNightmare, SeriousSam and CVE-2021–36934.
Log4j exploitation risk is not as high as first thought, cyber MGA says (Help Net Security) Rotem Iram, CEO of cyber managing general agent (MGA) At-Bay, says that the Log4j exploitation risk isn’t as high as first thought.
Online activists are doxxing Ottawa’s anti-vax protesters (MIT Technology Review) Experts warn this is blurring the line between activism and vigilantism.
A Cyber-Attack has Disrupted Slovenia’s Most Popular TV Channel (IT Security News) In what appears to be an extortion attempt, a cyber-attack has crippled the operations of Pop TV, Slovenia’s most popular TV channel.
Croatian phone carrier A1 Hrvatska discloses data breach (Security Affairs) Croatian phone carrier A1 Hrvatska has disclosed a data breach that has impacted roughly 200,000 customers. Croatian phone carrier A1 Hrvatska has disclosed a data breach that has impacted 10% of its customers, roughly 200,000 people. Threat actors had access to sensitive personal information of the customers, including names, personal identification numbers, physical addresses, and […]
San Francisco 49ers NFL team discloses BlackByte ransomware attack (Security Affairs) A ransomware attack hit the corporate IT network of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team, The Record reported. The San Francisco 49ers NFL team has fallen victim to a ransomware attack, the news was reported by The Record. The team disclosed the attack after that the BlackByte ransomware added the team to the list of […]
NFL's San Francisco 49ers hit by Blackbyte ransomware attack (BleepingComputer) The NFL's San Francisco 49ers team is recovering from a cyberattack by the BlackByte ransomware gang who claims to have stolen data from the American football organization.
Ransomware Gang Says it Has Hacked 49ers Football Team (SecurityWeek) The San Francisco 49ers have been hit by a ransomware attack, with cyber criminals claiming they stole some of the football team’s financial data.
San Francisco 49ers Hit By Ransomware Attack (Forbes) The BlackByte ransomware gang claims to have breached the computer network of the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers confirm ransomware attack (The Record by Recorded Future) The San Francisco 49ers NFL team has fallen victim to a ransomware attack that encrypted files on its corporate IT network, a spokesperson for the team has told The Record.
Cyberattack exposes data of 1.2 million guests of Harbour Plaza hotels in Hong Kong (South China Morning Post) Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data launches investigation into illegal access of several databases for room reservations.
Valve bans Cities: Skylines modder accused of hiding malicious code in mods (pcgamer) Some of the mods have since been removed from the Steam Workshop.
Avita Health System issues statement on cybersecurity incident (Richland Source) Avita Health System on Thursday afternoon issued an emailed statement about a cybersecurity incident that occurred on Wednesday.
I Used Apple AirTags, Tiles and a GPS Tracker to Watch My Husband’s Every Move (New York Times) A vast location-tracking network is being built around us so we don’t lose our keys: One couple’s adventures in the consumer tech surveillance state.
Report: US Marketing Platform Exposed Millions of Leads' Data (Website Planet) Company name and location: Beetle Eye, located in the USA
Size (in GB and amount of records): 1+ GB of data, 6K files
People affected: 7 Million
Report: FlexBooker Suffers Another Data Breach Exposing Millions of Bookings (vpnMentor) Flexbooker has suffered its 2nd data breach in 2 months, this time exposing up to 19 million people to fraud and attack via an unsecured AWS server. Read on to find out more.
Cyber attack: Gloucester council sets aside £380k for IT repairs (BBC News) Gloucester City Council was hit by the attack, linked to hackers in Russia, in December.
Marketplace suspends most NFT sales, citing 'rampant' fakes and plagiarism (Reuters) The platform which sold an NFT of Jack Dorsey's first tweet for $2.9 million has halted most transactions because people were selling tokens of content that did not belong to them.
Why OpenSea's NFT Marketplace Can’t Win (WIRED UK) Security issues and endless copycat listings are rife, but the platform’s attempt to stop them is angering everyone.
Messy Breakups: A History of Hacker Relationships Gone Bad (Vade Secure) In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s look at some high-profile hacker relationships and the messy breakups that ensued.
Security Patches, Mitigations, and Software Updates
Adobe Releases Emergency Patch for Exploited Commerce Zero-Day (SecurityWeek) Adobe released an emergency advisory on Sunday to inform Commerce and Magento users of a critical zero-day vulnerability that has been exploited in attacks.
Adobe patches Magento CMS zero-day (The Record by Recorded Future) Adobe has released an emergency security update on Sunday to address a zero-day vulnerability in the Magento and Adobe Commerce platforms that was actively abused in the wild by attackers.
Valentine's Day scams. Amemus, atque caveamus? (The CyberWire) With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many organizations are offering advice on how to avoid falling for romance scams. As you're looking for love, or shopping for whatever geegaws might please your sweetie (flowers, candy, apparel, show tickets, power tools, Pokemon, etc.) keep your eyes wide open.
Cyber Criminals Nabbed $1.3B in Ransom Payments Over 2 Years: Report (Insurance Journal) Criminals netted $1.3 billion in ransom payments from hacking victims in the past two years, reflecting a massive surge in cyber-crime that has prompted a
Almost a quarter of all spam emails were sent from Russia in 2021 (IT PRO) Last year's spam emails mostly centred around money and investment, Bond and Spider-Man movie premieres, and the pandemic
Cloudflare buys cloud access security broker Vectrix (CRN Australia) To detect and mitigate issues in AWS, Google Workspace and GitHub.
WSJ News Exclusive | Cisco Made $20 Billion-Plus Takeover Offer for Splunk (Wall Street Journal) Cisco Systems Inc. has made a takeover offer worth more than $20 billion for software maker Splunk Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
Is Splunk being acquired by Cisco? Explanation of rumours (Techno Trenz) Cisco System, which was founded in 1984, is one of the largest information technology firms in the world. Cisco has a market capitalization of $227.33 billion dollars, according to reports. 2 Is Cisco taking over Splunk? The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, February 11, 2022, that Cisco Systems Inc had made a $20 billion …
Syniverse's IPO plan sunk by SPAC strife (Light Reading) Syniverse had hoped to become a publicly traded company - and raise more than $1 billion in funding - but that plan collapsed amid current market conditions.
Australian businesses are boosting their cyber security budgets (Security Brief) According to a new Accenture report, Australian businesses are boosting their cyber security budgets.
GDIT Awarded $829 Million Global IT Services Task Order by Defense Intelligence Agency (PR Newswire) General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), today announced it was awarded the Customer Care...
ExpressVPN is Offering $100,000 to Anyone Who Can Hack Their Servers (Pro Pakistan) ExpressVPN has updated its bug bounty program to make it more inviting to ethical hackers. The company is now offering a one-time $100,000 bounty to whoever can hack its systems.
Cybrary CEO talks botched job description that went viral, and what the company actually meant to say (SC Magazine) Earlier this week, a portion of a Cybrary job description went viral on social media that left many in the community wondering — what was the company thinking? Cybrary CEO Kevin Hanes spoke to SC Media about that misstep on the job description — owning the mistake, but also offering some more context and perhaps some lessons learned.
After the Great Resignation, Tech Firms Are Getting Desperate (Wired) Faced with a shortage of qualified workers and fierce competition, companies are offering candidates money to interview and plush perks if they stay.
LogRhythm Unveils New Brand Identity to Reflect Company’s Focus on Enabling Customers to Take Action Against Evolving Cyber Threats (LogRhythm) LogRhythm today introduced its new brand identity. The rebrand is designed to represent the company’s commitment to helping security operations centers close workforce gaps, increase knowledge of new attacks and techniques and navigate an ever-changing threat landscape with confidence.
iOS jailbreak dev wins $2M bounty for finding critical Optimism bug (Cointelegraph) White hat hacker Jay Freeman exposed a critical bug in the Geth Fork of the Ethereum scaling startup Optimism and was awarded the largest “bug fix” payout in blockchain history.
Zscaler hires Heng Mok as APAC CISO (iTWire) Cloud security specialist Zscaler has appointed Heng Mok to the role of CISO for Asia Pacific. "I'm thrilled to have Heng join the team and look forward to the positive impact he will have in helping us scale throughout the APJ region, sharing his deep expertise in cybersecurity, data govern...
Leo Taddeo Appointed CISO, President of Appgate Federal Division (Appgate) Leo Taddeo joined Appgate as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and President of Appgate Federal Division.
Products, Services, and Solutions
New infosec products of the week: February 11, 2022 (Help Net Security) The featured infosec products this week are from: Cofense, Cybellum, DataStax, Federal Reserve, Gigamon, Qualys, Runecast, and Spin Technology.
RegTech Platform, Sekuritance ($SKRT) Launches Platform to Simplify Business Compliance Needs From Evolving Cyber Risks (GlobeNewswire News Room) Sekuritance will enable individuals, businesses and governments to use blockchain as a regulatory solution to identify, verify and transact safely online...
Cyber Signals is a new cybersecurity magazine from Microsoft (TheWindowsClub News) Microsoft has introduced a new cybersecurity magazine known as Cyber Signals to share trends, tactics, and strategies threat actors use.
Technologies, Techniques, and Standards
Face Recognition Is Out. So How Will the IRS Verify Identity? (Wired) Fighting fraud is important. But so is respecting privacy and guarding against bias. It's a “no-win situation,” one former official says.
The role of Big Tech in cyber defence (IDG Connect) Cyber warfare has reached new levels and governments are now turning to Big Tech to strengthen their cyber defence.
How to frame meaningful security conversations with the corporate board (VentureBeat) Ransomware and data theft are affecting numerous businesses, and corporate boards are turning to their CISOs for strategy and assurance.
Design and Innovation
Intel Announces Bitcoin Mining Initiative, Bonanza Mine Chips Ship This Year (Tom's Hardware) Intel has officially entered the cryptomining business.
Qubitekk Named Finalist for Edison Award for Quantum-Based Security Technology (HPCwire) Quantum Protected Network, a cutting-edge cybersecurity technology developed by Qubitekk and field tested at EPB, has
George Washington University apologizes for data project monitoring student and staff locations on campus (Washington Post) George Washington University interim president Mark S. Wrighton apologized Friday to the campus community for the university’s failure to inform it in advance of a data analytics pilot program that monitored locations — though not individualized data — of students, faculty and staff last fall.
College of the North Atlantic training next generation to defend against cyberattacks (NTV News) Cyberattacks are on the rise, costing businesses trillions of dollars a year and leaking vital information. The College of the North Atlantic is launching a new program to prepare the next generation of defenders against cyberattacks. NTV’s Bailey Howard reports.
Legislation, Policy, and Regulation
Targeted Sanctions Are Trendy, but Not Very Effective (World Politics Review) Targeted sanctions can change bad behavior when they are tied to clear objectives and a measurable period of performance, and when the pressure exerted is both substantial and strategic. Unfortunately, these conditions are not present in the deluge of new sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies this week.
Lawmakers Introduce Combined Bill for Strengthening Critical Infrastructure Security (SecurityWeek) U.S. senators introduce a new legislative package that aims to protect critical infrastructure and government networks against cyber threats.
Lawmakers urge SEC to propose mandatory cybersecurity reporting rules (Breaking Defense) "America’s economic prosperity is linked to strong cybersecurity defenses in the private sector," the letter says.
US Networks Contain 24,000 Pieces of Huawei, ZTE Gear (SDxCentral) America’s wireless network infrastructure includes at least 24,000 pieces of Huawei or ZTE equipment spanning about 8,400 locations.
FCC launches task force to address digital redlining (CNET) The agency must come up with rules by November 2023 to address discrimination by broadband companies that disproportionately leave behind communities of color.
FTC Threat Over 'Log4J' Elevates Risk Of Failing To Fix Flaws (Law360) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's recent threat to take legal action against companies that fail to address a ubiquitous software flaw known as "Log4j" highlights the expanding liability risk businesses face if they ignore known cybersecurity hazards.
NRO looks to ease companies in the door with tiered cybersecurity requirements (Federal News Network) The tiered approach is a feature of new contracts the NRO awarded last month to five synthetic aperture radar firms.
Mississippi Cyber Initiative gathers stakeholders to address state and national cyber challenges (Mississippi State University) As part of an ongoing initiative to address state and federal cyber workforce and security challenges, public and private stakeholders gathered Tuesday [Feb. 8] at Camp Shelby for the Mississippi Cyber Initiative’s Quarterly Cyber Summit.
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
Spanish police dismantled SIM swapping gang who stole money from victims’ bank accounts (Security Affairs) Spanish National Police arrested eight alleged members of a crime ring specialized in SIM swapping attacks. Spanish National Police has arrested eight alleged members of a crime organization who were able to steal money from the bank accounts of the victims through SIM swapping attacks. Crooks conduct SIM swapping attacks to take control of victims’ […]
Secret CIA Bulk Surveillance Program Includes Some Americans’ Records, Senators Say (Wall Street Journal) A secret program at the CIA relied on a form of mass surveillance activity that included the gathering of some records belonging to Americans, according to a newly declassified letter from two Democratic senators.
The CIA has been conducting mass surveillance in the U.S. with minimal oversight—and the program's uncovering is bad news for Big Tech (Fortune) The revelation will undermine efforts to rescue Big Tech's European prospects.
Lawmakers allege 'secret' CIA spying on unwitting Americans (BBC News) Spy agencies are conducting "warrantless backdoor searches" of Americans, two Democrat senators say.
Senators: CIA Has Secret Program That Collects American Data (SecurityWeek) The CIA has a secret, undisclosed data repository that includes information collected about Americans
'Secret' CIA bulk data collection raises questions about surveillance laws'Secret' CIA bulk data collection raises questions about surveillance laws (WZTV) The Central Intelligence Agency has a “secret” bulk data collection program that could “incidentally” include information about Americans, according to two U. S. senators. ‘WARRANTLESS BACKDOOR SEARCHES OF AMERICANS’ What kind of information? That’s classified. But concerns are being raised the CIA has hidden details about the program.
CIA has secret program that collects data on Americans, two senators say (CBS News) Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, both Democrats, are pressing for more information on the practice. The CIA's focus is supposed to be abroad.
Explained: What we know of hacking group ModifiedElephant (The Indian Express) ModifiedElephant typically weaponises malicious Microsoft Office files to deliver malware to their targets. According to SentinelOne, the specific method and payload included in the malicious files have changed over the years.
Jailed Indian activist was targeted by state-linked hacking group, report says (The Record by Recorded Future) California-based cybersecurity firm SentinelOne released an investigative report Wednesday revealing the decade-long work of hackers known to plant incriminating evidence on the devices of activists, human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and lawyers in India.
India-Linked Threat Actor Involved in Spying, Planting Evidence (SecurityWeek) A previously unknown India-linked threat actor has been engaged in long-term surveillance and delivery of incriminating ‘evidence’ prior to coordinated arrests.
Cyber Attackers Who Targeted Rona Wilson Could Have Been Engaged by Same Entity: Report (The Wire) Findings by US experts under the cybersecurity firm SentinelOne reveal that Wilson was targeted in a nearly decade-long effort – a time frame significantly longer than earlier realised.
US firm identifies hacking tool used to plant fabricated digital evidence on devices of activists, journalists in India (India Today) A new report by US-based cyber security platform SentinelOne has identified a hacking tool called ModifiedElephant that has been used to plant fabricated digital evidence on the target’s devices.
A Hacker Group Has Been Framing People for Crimes They Didn't Commit (Gizmodo) A recent study shows the tactics and techniques of a cybercrime group that is known for planting incriminating evidence on the devices of activists in India.
Sofia City Prosecutor's Office carries out an inspection for possible illegal use of “Pegasus” software (Prosecutor's Office of Republic of Bulgaria) Sofia City Prosecutor's Office carries out an inspection under Art. 145, paragraph 1, item 1 of the Judicial System Act (JSA) for possible illegal use of “Pegasus” software in state structures for the purpose of unregulated wiretapping of Bulgarian citizens.
Israeli inquiry checking NSO database over police wiretap allegations (Reuters) A high-level Israeli inquiry into alleged warrantless wiretaps by police is examining a database provided by NSO Group, the manufacturer of the powerful hacking tool Pegasus, the Justice Ministry said on Sunday.
Ex-top cop: Police don’t even have NSO Pegasus spyware, ‘someone will pay for spin’ (Times of Israel) Former commissioner Roni Alsheich maintains there is thorough judicial oversight for cyber actions as investigation into claims of illegal police spying continues
Pegasus scandal: Experts say '90 percent chance' phones of ex-finance ministry officials hacked (Haaretz) Cybersecurity experts are over 90 percent certain that two former directors general of Israeli ministries were hacked, following the appearance of their names in a report on police use of NSO spyware.
No one was immune: Israel Police Pegasus surveillance list revealed (CTECH) CEOs of government ministries, journalists, tycoons, corporate executives, mayors, social activists, and even the Prime Minister’s relatives, all were police targets, having their phones hacked by NSO’s spyware, prior to any investigation even opening and without any judicial authorization
Netanyahu prosecution set to tell court no illegal hacking, trial can go forward (Times of Israel) Investigation into alleged police misconduct using NSO spyware finds no wrongdoing relevant to former premier's graft trial, reports say
Did NSO go rogue and use Pegasus spyware for private ops? (Haaretz) Haaretz reported that NSO hacked phones 'unofficially' with Pegasus for Israel's Mossad. Could it do the same for its own purposes? The company says no, but experts warn it is possible.
Google’s Privacy Sandbox ad-tracking overhaul clears major regulatory hurdle (The Verge) As the search giant pushes ahead with its cookie phase-out.
Cole County prosecutor declines to charge Post-Dispatch reporter targeted by Parson (St. Louise Post-Dispatch) Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson based his decision on a state highway patrol report completed seven weeks ago.
Charges won't be filed in DESE data breach incident (ABC17NEWS) Thompson added the case has been closed and that the issues have been "resolved through non-legal means."
Prosecutor isn’t pressing charges against reporter who found flaw in state website (Missouri Independent) The Cole County Prosecutor won’t press charges against a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who uncovered a security flaw in a state website.
Prosecutor not pursuing charges against newspaper over DESE data breach (News Tribune) Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson announced Friday he would not pursue criminal charges against a reporter who Gov. Mike Parson alleged acted illegally in finding and reporting a data breach in a state agency’s computer system.
No charges against reporter who discovered state data flaw, called 'hacker' by Gov. Parson (Springfield News-Leader) St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Josh Renaud called the decision a \
Statement by Josh Renaud about Missouri investigation (Josh Renaud) Today, the Cole County prosecutor declined to file charges against me over my discovery of a flaw in a public website run by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that exposed thousands of teachers’ sensitive information.
The Rabbit Hole Beneath the Crypto Couple Is Endless (Vice) Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein wanted to be famous. Now, after being accused of laundering billions of dollars of crypto, they are.
Meet the ‘Crocodile of Wall Street’ rapper accused of laundering billions of dollars in crypto (Washington Post) It took Netflix three days to order a documentary about her, but a woman’s social media accounts have been telling a wild story for years.
Feds Oppose Immediate Release of Voting Machine Report (SecurityWeek) A federal cybersecurity agency is reviewing a report that alleges security vulnerabilities in voting machines
Adam Georgeson: IT technician jailed for revenge cyber-attacks (BBC News) Adam Georgeson attacked the school and IT firm's systems after both employers sacked him.
On the Irish Health Services Executive Hack (Schneier on Security) A detailed report of the 2021 ransomware attack against Ireland’s Health Services Executive lists some really bad security practices:
Conti cyber attack on the HSE Independent Post Incident Review (PwC) The Health Service Executive (“HSE”) is a large geographically spread organisation which provides all of Ireland’s public health services through hospitals and communities across the country
PwC’s HSE hack post-incident report should be a corporate textbook (The Stack) Ireland’s Health Services Executive has published a fresh summary of the devastating ransomware attack that hit the country’s healthcare sector in the summer of 2021 — on the back of a detailed public post-incident report by consultancy PwC. The HSE is Ireland’s largest public sector employer, with 130,000+ staff manning 70,000+ IT devices across 4,000 locations.
Assange’s NFT Clock Sale Rides a Wave of DAO Crowdfunding (Wired) The WikiLeaks founder raised $50 million for legal fees, making him the latest public figure to benefit from decentralized autonomous organizations.
No, that email from Equifax is not a scam. You are entitled to free credit monitoring for four years. (Washington Post) But the company’s data breach settlement is still a letdown
Deloitte’s $5M Data Security Deal OK Is Sought by Plaintiffs (Bloomberg Law) A $4.95 million settlement with Deloitte Consulting LLP to resolve claims it created websites with poor security should receive final approval, the plaintiffs are arguing in New York federal court.
Hackney Council could be forced to answer questions about IT security training after Psya ransomware (ComputerWeekly.com) Council is negotiating with the information commissioner after refusing to reply to questions under the Freedom of Information Act about staff IT and security training during the pandemic.
Reports of romance scams hit record highs in 2021 (Federal Trade Commission) Online dating can be a great way to find lasting love – or even your next fling.
Toronto woman loses life savings in romance scam, warns others to 'be careful' (CBC) A Toronto woman is warning people to be careful online after she lost around $26,000 in a romance scam. Toronto police are investigating — and say this type of crime "isn't uncommon."
Spy vs. spy at the Vatican (Catholic Culture) Eventually you realize, sadly, that some Vatican officials have good reason to worry about surveillance: They don’t want the truth to come out.